UPDATE 1-Conoco cuts Trainer rates due to leak-source

* Conoco also plans work on Trainer cat cracker in Sept

* Trainer reductions helped drive down PADD 1 rates

By Janet McGurty

NEW YORK, Aug 17 (BestGrowthStock) – ConocoPhillips Corp (COP.N: )
has cut rates at its 185,000 barrel-per-day refinery at the
Trainer, Pennsylvania, refinery over the past two weeks due to
a crude unit leak, a trade source said on Tuesday.

The company also plans to start four to five weeks of work
on the gasoline-making fluid catalytic cracking unit and
reformer in September, the source said.

The work at Trainer plant was seen as a major factor behind
the dramatic drop in refinery runs in the East Coast region
over recent weeks.

Refinery runs for PADD 1, which comprises the U.S. Eastern
Coast, fell to 79.7 percent for the week ended August 6 from
91.7 percent the week earlier, according to data released on
Wednesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Recent work at Sunoco Inc’s 335,000 bpd Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania refinery has also contributed to lower rates in
PADD 1. [ID:nN02273812].

Refining capacity in the region has shrunk over the past
year after companies closed two plants due to poor economics,
exacerbating the swings in the utilization rates for the East
Coast when capacity is shut for work.

In November 2009, Sunoco decided to shutter its 150,000 bpd
Eagle Point refinery across the Delaware River in south New
Jersey. Valero Energy Corp. (VLO.N: ) also shut down its 210,000
barrel per day refinery in Delaware City, Delaware in
November.

The Delaware City refinery has since been sold to a group
comprised of a previous owner, former Premcor chief, Tom
O’Malley and other investors, and is expected to reopen after
major work in 2011.

More regional refinery closures are planned, however, with
Western Refining (WNR.N: ) planning to close its 70,000 barrel
per day refinery in Yorktown, Virginia by mid-September.
[ID:nWEN8480]
(Reporting by Janet McGurty; editing to Sofina Mirza-Reid)

UPDATE 1-Conoco cuts Trainer rates due to leak-source