Refiners Battle Sharp Increase in Renewable Fuel Credits in 2013

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 14, 2013) - Shares of oil refiners have slid this past week on concerns that rising renewable fuel credits would begin to pressure margins. The Environmental Protection Agency has propped refineries raising the U.S. ethanol mandate to over 14 billion gallons, compared with 13.2 billion gallons in 2012. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing Industry and provides equity research on CVR Energy, Inc. ( NYSE : CVI ) and Phillips 66 ( NYSE : PSX ).

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"There is a potential real stinker of an issue developing for US refiners on meeting obligations related to the US government's renewable fuels standard (RFS) that could materially impact earnings for many of the companies. The price of renewable fuel credits, known as Renewable Identification Number (RINs), has skyrocketed from under US$0.01/gal for ethanol in late 2012 to over US$1.00/gal this week, significantly increasing the cost of RFS compliance for the US refiners so far in 2013," Macquarie wrote in a recent note to investors.

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CVR Energy is a diversified holding company primarily engaged in the petroleum refining and nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing industries through its holdings in two limited partnerships, CVR Partners, LP and CVR Refining, LP. Macquarie has recently downgraded the company's rating to "underperform." Shares of CVR Energy declined 8.25 percent Wednesday.

Phillips 66, created through the repositioning of ConocoPhillips, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on May 1, 2012. The company's Refining & Marketing segment includes 15 refineries with a net crude oil capacity of 2.2 million barrels per day, 10,000 branded marketing outlets, and 15,000 miles of pipeline systems.

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