If oil was free, then VLO could buy oil for zero and sell gasoline for whatever the market would bear. Low oil price would mean lower total gasoline price, demand would be stimulated, and business would be great for VLO.
On flip side, if oil price shoots up on a shortage (i.e. alaska), then tough for gasoline to rise as fast as raw imput (oil) because of demand destruction. Causing lower crack spread and smaller profits for VLO.
But VLO will be bid up premkt anyway. Because market not that smart.
Everything is done on a percentage, like houses. Realters make more money on a 500,000.00 house over a 250,000.00 even if it is the same amount of work. So the higher the crude price the more money VLO makes. The problem could be they wont have any oil to refine. I highly dought that will happen. If there is enough money there will be enough oil. I see 4.00 at the pump. My airplane fuel is going to cost over 5 this sucks.