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UPDATE 1-Refiners' shares fall after U.S. allows some light crude exports
June 25, 2014 / 6:21 PM / in 3 years

UPDATE 1-Refiners' shares fall after U.S. allows some light crude exports

(Adds shares of more companies)

June 25 (Reuters) - Shares of U.S. refiners such as Valero Energy Corp dropped on fears of a rise in crude costs after U.S. officials allowed energy companies to export very light crude oil, or condensate, after it has been minimally processed.

Shares of oil and gas producer Pioneer Natural Resources Co and pipeline company Enterprise Products Partners LP rose after the companies received a private ruling from the U.S. Department of Commerce to export the condensate.

The ruling also lifted shares of many U.S. oil and gas producers, particularly those more weighted to condensate. Shares of Eagle Ford shale producers Rosetta Resources Inc and SM Energy Co were up more than 4 percent in afternoon trading.

“This (the commerce department’s ruling) may be a precursor or trial balloon to less restrictive condensate exports or even light crude oil over the longer term,” Tudor Pickering Holt Energy analysts wrote in a note.

Analysts said the ruling was a step towards alleviating the light oil glut on the U.S. Gulf Coast and it would potentially weigh on refining margins.

U.S. refiners may see crude costs go up as they would have to compete with international buyers for supplies, analysts said.

Most refiners, except Phillips 66, have campaigned against a lifting of the U.S. ban on exports.

The ruling sent down shares of refiners most levered to light crude oil.

Shares of Alon USA Energy Inc, Delek US Holdings Inc and HollyFrontier Corp were all down about 7 percent, while those of Western Refining Inc were 6 percent lower. Valero shares were down about 9 percent.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security told Pioneer Natural that lightly processed condensate would be eligible for export without a license.

The department had given approval via a private ruling to Pioneer Natural and Enterprise Products to export the condensate, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Pioneer Natural’s shares rose as much as 4 percent, while Enterprise Products’ stock gained 1.6 percent. (Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian and Kirti Pandey)

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