June 25, 2018 / 7:34 PM / a year ago

Valero remains top U.S. refiner by capacity: EIA

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Valero Energy Corp remained the top U.S. refiner by capacity in the United States, according to an annual report on the nation’s refineries issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Monday.

Motiva Enterprises’ [MOTIV.UL] 603,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) plant in Port Arthur, Texas, continues as the nation’s largest single refinery, the agency said.

Total refining capacity across the United States fell by more than 18,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 to 18.598 million bpd, the EIA said. The total number of U.S. refineries shrank by two to 135 plants.

Each year in June, the EIA releases the report based on forms about production capacity completed by the refineries and submitted by Jan. 1 of the year in which the report is issued.

Valero’s total combined crude oil refining capacity across 14 plants was 2.16 million bpd, the EIA said, down from 2.18 million in the 2017 report. Most of the decline came from a reduction at the company’s Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery.

Valero’s position as the nation’s largest refiner for the past 11 years could change by the time the EIA issues its next report if regulators approve the proposed merger between Marathon Petroleum Corp and Andeavor.

The $23-billion merger, announced in April, would give the new Marathon 2.98 million bpd or 16 percent of total national capacity. Valero’s combined capacity is equal to 11.6 percent of the U.S. total.

Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery became the largest in the United States in 2012 following the completion of a $10-billion, 7-year expansion, surpassing Exxon Mobil Corp’s Baytown, Texas, refinery.

The 560,500 bpd Baytown refinery fell to the third largest refinery as the merger of Marathon’s Galveston Bay and Texas City refineries, both located in Texas City, Texas, created a 571,000 bpd plant, the EIA said.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio

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