Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) announced last week (on June 26) that it was shutting down its 335-Mb/d refinery in Philadelphia, PA. This announcement came just five days after a major fire destroyed a portion of the refinery, which turned out to be the last straw for the facility that has been struggling financially for many years. Today, we consider the various market impacts that will likely follow the closure of the PES refinery, including its effect on fuel supply, where the closure leaves refinery production capacity in the region and how the refined product supply will need to adjust in response.
The PES refinery, which has a long history in the Philadelphia region, is currently made up of two adjacent facilities located at Point Breeze and Girard Point (shown in the map to the left in Figure 1). The initial refining facility at Point Breeze was constructed in 1870 by Atlantic Refining Company, while the Girard Point facility was constructed in the 1920s by Gulf Oil. Over the years, the facilities have been modernized and expanded, and ownership has changed hands several times, as shown in the timeline to the right in Figure 1, with the two facilities integrating in 1995 under the Sunoco banner. Sunoco, now a subsidiary of Energy Transfer, reportedly contemplated closure of the refinery in 2012 but subsequently formed a joint venture (JV) with The Carlyle Group called Philadelphia Energy Solutions, or PES. After a bankruptcy restructuring in 2018, Credit Suisse Asset Management and Bardin Hill became majority shareholders in the partnership, leaving The Carlyle Group/Energy Transfer JV with a minority stake.