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Phillips 66 expects decision on new cracker next year; 1Q net income down 2.1%

HOUSTON, April 27, 2018 (PCW) –- Phillips 66 on Friday said it expects to make a final investment decision on another new cracker in Texas as part of its Chevron Phillips Chemical joint venture next year.

CEO Greg Garland in an earnings call reiterated the company’s belief in strong global polyethylene demand and the need for more cheap ethylene as a feedstock in support of that effort.

Chevron Phillips brought its latest 3.3 billion lbs/yr ethane cracker online in March. Garland noted the unit achieved full design operating rates in April. Meanwhile, its Cedar Bayou that was significantly damaged during Hurricane Harvey returned to full operating rates in 1Q, the company said.

P66 reported 1Q net income of $524 million, down from $535 million seen in the year-ago period, largely due to lower earnings from the refining segment amid a heavy turnaround period. The chemicals segment saw 1Q net income of $232 million, up from $181 million in 1Q 2017. The increase was due to improved volumes and margins, reflecting the return to full operations at Cedar Bayou, as well as lower taxes.   -- Samantha Hartke

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