(Reuters) - U.S. oil refiner Phillips 66(PSX.N) posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, helped by a 28 percent rise in net income from its chemicals unit.
The refiner’s chemicals joint venture with Chevron Corp had fully recovered from Hurricane Harvey and contributed to first-quarter earnings, Chief Executive Greg Garland said.
The U.S. shale boom has opened enormous reservoirs of cheap natural gas, a raw material for chemicals and plastics. The chemicals unit’s net income rose to $232 million from $181 million.
However, earnings from the company’s main refining business fell nearly 65 percent to $91 million.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.04 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 89 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Rival Valero Energy Corp (VLO.N) reported quarterly results on Thursday and attributed its better-than-expected profit to higher refining margins.
Reporting by Taenaz Shakir in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva