Chevron CEO Puts Spinoff Talk to Rest

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Chevron CEO Puts Spinoff Talk to Rest


HOUSTON -- Two oil companies have made the move to spin off their refinery business, but Chevron Corp. will not be making it three.

Speaking at a business luncheon in Houston yesterday, CEO John Watson said the company is not interested in separating its refineries into a separate company similar to Marathon Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, according to Reuters.

"You should not look for Chevron to participate in anything like what ConocoPhillips or Marathon has done," he told business leaders.

Watson explained that ever-increasing development of liquefied natural gas, high-sulfur heavy crudes and natural gas liquids requires refining expertise and plants that can process them, the news outlet reported.

"It helps to be able to run those in your own refinery," he said. "There's never been a time when I have felt it was more important to be an integrated company."

His remarks should put to rest speculation that other oil giants could follow in the footsteps of Marathon and ConocoPhillips. Marathon was the first to take the step with its announcement in January that it was spinning off its downstream business, Marathon Petroleum Corp., and the move was made final on June 30.

In early July, ConocoPhillips followed suit with its decision to split into two companies: one refining and marketing company, and another focused on exploration and production.

Both moves led to a "spinoff watch" with all eyes turning to ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP. Analysts speculated that peer pressure and shareholder interest may spur more moves, with BP -- which has suffered since the April 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico -- being the leading contender, as CSNews Online previously reported.