RPT-UPDATE 1-Cheaper crude helps Phillips 66 double quarterly profit

Wed May 1, 2013 8:38am EDT
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May 1 (Reuters) - U.S. refiner Phillips 66 said on Wednesday its quarterly profit more than doubled as it used cheaper American- and Canadian-produced crude oil to make gasoline and other fuels.

The company, which operates 15 refineries and has a large chemicals business, said most of its crude came from Alberta's oil sands as well as the Eagle Ford shale field in Texas and the Mississippian Lime shale in Oklahoma.

Using locally produced crude, rather than importing from overseas, refiners keep costs low and margins higher. Phillips 66 said profit in its refining unit jumped to $922 million in the quarter from $393 million in the same period last year.

The Houston-based company reported first-quarter earnings of $1.41 billion, or $2.23 per share. Comparable profit for the year-ago period was $636 million, or $1.00 per share. It was split off from ConocoPhillips in May 2012 and not independent in the first quarter of 2012.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $2.19 per share in the first quarter of 2013. By that measure, analysts expected $1.89 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.