HOUSTON Nov 8 Alon USA Energy Inc's
California refining system could be shut down through early 2015
or longer, depending on when and if the company gets needed
permits to build a facility to offload U.S. crude via rail,
Chief Executive Paul Eisman told analysts on Friday.
Alon had expected to receive permits for the offloading
facility by the fourth quarter this year so the company could
build it and begin railing in cheaper U.S. crude in 2014.
However, delays have pushed back the project, and now the
company expects to receive permits by the end of the fourth
quarter 2014, Eisman said.
Alon shut the 70,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) system down a
year ago because its dependence on imported crude rendered it
"We are continuing to work the permit and we are confident
we are going to get it," he said during the company's
fourth-quarter earnings conference call. "We could potentially
start (railing in crude) as early as 2015, but we've not made
the decision on that at this point."
The California system includes plants in Bakersfield, Long
Beach and Paramount that operate as one.
Eisman also said the company was "looking at options" to
expand its Big Spring, Texas, refinery, which is in the growing
Permian Basin oil play.
"We're looking at all options," he said of the 70,000 bpd
refinery, which is slated to shut down in the first quarter next
year for a plant-wide turnaround.