- Last year's spike in the price of ethanol blending credits cost independent refiners at least $1.35B, more than 3x as much as the year before, according to a Reuters' review of securities filings.
- The tally is seen as a conservative estimate, since it includes only nine refiners that disclosed the figures; others affected did not specify the cost of buying RINs used to meet quotas for blending biofuel into gasoline and diesel.
- The review also highlights how the impact was unevenly distributed, with independent refiners CVR Refining (CVRR) and LyondellBasell (LYB) alone bearing more than 20% of the cost although they account for 2.5% of daily U.S. refining capacity.
- Valero Energy (VLO), with ~10% of U.S. refining capacity, spent ~$517M on RINs in 2013, and estimates it will spend another $250M-$350M on RINs this year.
- The data may give the companies more firepower as they urge regulators to stick to an earlier proposal to cut back ethanol requirements after an outcry from biofuels companies.