Houston-based Phillips 66 saw an improvement in its first quarter earnings in 2017, following a disappointing year in which the company’s profits fell 75 percent from 2015.
Phillips on Friday reported profits of $535 million for the first quarter, compared to a $163 million gain during the fourth quarter of last year.
Phillips attributed some of the gain to its new liquefied petroleum gas export terminal in Freeport, which came online during the fourth quarter and allows the company to ship propane and butane worldwide.
Low to non-existent profit margins made 2016 a rough year for U.S. refiners, as oil prices rose and gasoline prices remained low. Companies can expect to see an improvement this year, as fuel prices are expected to increase for much of 2017.
“We have successfully completed several major turnarounds in refining and chemicals,” said Greg Garland, chairman and CEO of Phillips 66. “First-quarter earnings reflect this downtime and also highlight the benefit of a diversified portfolio. Our Chemicals business had solid results on good demand and improved margins. The Freeport LPG Export Terminal is fully operational, and we have several Midstream and Chemicals projects nearing completion.”