Phillips 66 Earnings Call Nuggets: RIN Outlook and NGL Exportation

Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

RIN Outlook

Doug Leggate – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: I mean I will take my full quota of two if I may. Greg, can I ask you about RINs? It seems you had a fairly big impact both under Refining and in the Marketing segment in this quarter. What I am trying to understand is the RINs have obviously spiked higher I guess it pulled back a little bit here, but in terms of the moving parts as when you acquired your RINs sort of Refining perhaps at lower prices versus selling RINs in retail at higher prices, how should we think about the net impact if RINs stay at this kind of level as we move into, let’s say, 2014, because obviously it’s a big deal (indiscernible) trying to understand what the scale could be for you guys and I’ve got a follow-up please.

Greg C. Garland – Chairman and CEO: I’ll take a stab and then Tim can kind of fill in. You got to let me get on to soapbox for a minute and with the standard that this is an unworkable program in our view in terms of RINs and where RINs is going. But with some hope that ultimately this is going to get fixed on a political level in Washington. So I would say there’s a broader understanding about the potential impact that what RINs causes for American consumers and for refiners. We look at RINs – we do trade RINs and we have a very sophisticated commercial organization that does that to optimize the value for P66. So we don’t necessarily want to go into what our positions are on RINs, because we really think it disadvantages our commercial people in terms of that. We continue to believe we have a very sophisticated system, a complex system. We have multiple levers that we use whether it’s export, producing non-RIN bearing product, blending more as we look to manage that overall value increment for PSX. So, sophisticated commercial capabilities, a large system, and this is just one of the costs that we manage every day.

Tim G. Taylor – EVP, Commercial, Marketing, Transportation & Business Development: Just to reiterate that, I think it is something that we look at in terms of the optimization of our systems. We have to certainly factor that in and I think that to wait and see what the future holds in terms of those values, but there’s a lot of moving parts to address RFS at the larger level and I think that just will continue till the resolution reaches. But to reiterate what Greg said, we look at this and just say, it doesn’t work post 2014 and that needs to be addressed.

Doug Leggate – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Tim, are you prepared to say whether you are net long or not across the organization?

Tim G. Taylor – EVP, Commercial, Marketing, Transportation & Business Development: No, we haven’t. Again, it reflects really the Commercial activities. They have managed the RINs program and did a great job at that and it has – we don’t view that as a large determinant of our results.

Doug Leggate – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: My follow-up is really more of a logistics question I guess in terms of moving crude around. Obviously, we’ve seen a lot of changes since the last call on the differentials. I’m just curious, as you step-up your shale share of your feedstock, how important is yield improvement relative to the differential in terms of how sticky your commitment would be to maintaining that very high level of shale production and maybe any color around how it’s changing your Transportation thoughts and moving advantaged crude to the different plants? I’ll leave it at that. Thanks.

Tim G. Taylor – EVP, Commercial, Marketing, Transportation & Business Development: I think clearly, the second quarter saw a substantial narrowing on the light crude and several factors drove that. So my comment is, we have a very large multi-point logistics system, a Refining system and we take into account those current market signals and we’re adjusting our crude slate. So the value of the shale crude in terms of its yield, it’s absolute price relative to other alternative is where you think about. So going forward, we still believe that those fundamentals are there on the supply piece as they continue to increase, so we like what we’ve done on logistics piece versus – and we’re going to continue to increase our options on that. However, we are mindful of the current market and we adjust for crude slates accordingly, and we’re making some of those adjustments now to really maximize the value of our system and taking into account all the factors yield price, et cetera, but fundamentally we still see that inland crudes from Canada and North America will be advantaged and we are going to continue to find ways to increase (our ability) to run those.

NGL Exportation

Manav Gupta – Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.: This is Manav Gupta for Evan today. Given your unique and leading position as a North American NGL gatherer, a global Chemical operator and now the new MLP, do you see additional growth projects or NGL exports out of the Gulf Coast? I mean in propane and butane and the heavier NGL barrels there is a clear arbitrage that global prices are much higher so exporting NGLs will ultimately support your (fuel fee) prices and the infrastructure might even be MPL able, so anything on those lines?

Greg C. Garland – Chairman and CEO: Well I think we had a stated position we want to grow our Midstream business. I think when you look at the breadth of our portfolio spanning Refining, petrochemicals, NGLs, et cetera, we sit in a unique position and I talk about weaving this web of infrastructure. So we see both sides of this and I think we sit in a unique spot to make these investments. So we have talked about a new 100,000 barrel a day frac at our Sweeny facility, all the associated infrastructure, whether it’s pipelines, storage and an export facility at Freeport. So it’s a multi-billion dollar investment. As we think about this we are advancing the engineering on this project but we see a clear opportunity and one that we think that Phillips 66 can execute on.

Manav Gupta – Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.: Just a follow-up on the crude by rail. I mean you took deliveries of 650 cars in this quarter and stuff. So the ARB between the Bakken and what’s coming on the East Coast through the African crudes has closed a little. So, is your system flexible so you can move crude not only to the East Coast, but divert those cars to the West Coast and any other place you want or it’s more rigid where you have long term contracts?

Greg G. Maxwell – EVP, Finance and CFO: Specifically, on the flexibility for rail, that’s why we like rail. It’s a flexible system. So, we have a lot of optionality in that and we have reduced our take on the Bakken to the East Coast as we’ve adjusted our crude slates and replacing that with more competitive barrels from imports.

A Closer Look: Phillips 66 Earnings Cheat Sheet>>