Valero’s largest oil receiver released from US reserves

SAN ANTONIO – As the United States plans to release more from its oil reserves in an effort to tame U.S. oil prices, a new analysis shows Valero Energy Corp. has been the biggest beneficiary.

The San Antonio refinery drew 52.7 million barrels, about half of the total delivered so far, according to Energy Department data from Reuters. Valero, the second-largest U.S. refiner by capacity, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Biden administration began tapping its reserves in May to help offset high oil prices and ease supply shortages caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It has released a total of 173.8 million barrels since March. Not all were sold.

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But stocks fell to 427.2 million barrels – or about four weeks’ worth of demand – the lowest level in 38 years. This week, the Energy Department said it was prepared to sell up to 10 million barrels more for delivery in November.

Valero’s St. Charles refinery, the company currently produces approximately 300 million gallons of renewable diesel per year.

Courtesy: Valero

To date, the two largest receivers have recovered nearly 98 million barrels. After Valero, Marathon Petroleum was the top oil refiner with 45.2 million barrels, according to Reuters.

Other big buyers include ExxonMobil with 24.7 million barrels, Motiva Enterprises with 22.1 million, Shell with 15.2 million and Phillips 66 with 16 million.

Marathon Petroleum declined to comment to Reuters on its crude source. The other companies did not respond to requests for comment.

Most of the oil was sold at the auction based on the five-day moving average price. A smaller amount is changed and typically requires buyers to change the oil at a slightly larger amount. The reserve is filled by contracts to buy oil in the future at a fixed price.

A pipeline snake drives through a Valero refinery in Benicia, California, Wednesday, March 27, 2019.  Bay Area gas prices spiked after the refinery was temporarily shut down.

A pipeline snake drives through the Valero refinery in Benicia, California, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. Bay Area gas prices spiked after the refinery was temporarily shut down.

Paul Chin, Staff / Chronicle

President Joe Biden took credit for declining emissions as oil prices began to rise again after a 99-day run of lows. In San Antonio, drivers were paying $3.07 for a gallon of regular gasoline Thursday, up a penny from less than a week ago and 26 cents from less than a month ago.

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