PBF Energy books first post-pandemic profit on fuel demand resurgence – Reuters

Oct 28 (Reuters) – PBF Energy Inc (PBF.N) said on Thursday that it expects demand for transportation fuels will remain strong as the Delta variant wanes and Americans resume their "pre-pandemic routines."
The U.S. independent refiner reported its first quarterly profit since the start of the pandemic, citing pre-pandemic levels of demand for gasoline and higher than pre-pandemic demand for distillates in all areas of the country.
PBF reported quarterly adjusted earnings of 12 cents​​ per share for the quarter ended in September, compared with a net loss $2.87 per share in the prior year quarter.
"Reaching this point took longer than anticipated, but it is indicative of the continuing global recovery from the grip of the pandemic," said Chief Executive Officer Thomas Nimbley.
Higher fuel demand coupled with refined product inventories being at or below five-year levels should continue to boost margins in the near term, Nimbley said.
The refiner also benefited from increasing crude oil supply in the market, which widened crude differentials between light sweet and heavy sour crudes.
Strong distillate fuel demand is due in part to power and other industrial producers having to switch to using liquid fuels because of a surge in natural gas prices, according to the company.
This demand should partially offset the higher costs refiners themselves incur purchasing natural gas, which is used in the refining process, Nimbley said.
The refiner also said it intends to move ahead with a plan to produce 20,000 barrels per day of renewable diesel at its Chalmette, Louisiana refinery using an idled catalytic cracker and a newly constructed pre-treatment unit. The refiner says it is in advanced discussions with additional potential strategic and financial partners.
Shares of PBF Energy rose more than 5% on the earnings beat Thursday morning and are up more than 100% year on year.
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