UPDATE 3-PBF Energy to buy Chalmette refinery from Exxon, PDVSA
(Updates with details from conference call)
June 18 (Reuters) - PBF Energy Inc agreed to buy the 189,000 barrel-a-day Chalmette, Louisiana, refinery for $322 million from Exxon Mobil Corp and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, marking the New Jersey-based company's Gulf Coast debut.
PBF shares jumped 17 percent to $31.04. The transaction is expected to close by year-end and boost 2016 earnings by 20 percent.
The purchase marks an expansion beyond the eastern United States by the independent oil refiner, a move long awaited by investors. PBF had looked at the Texas City Refinery in 2011, while the plant was owned by BP Plc.
The Chalmette refinery "has tremendous hardware capabilities," said Paul Davis, senior vice president of PBF. The plant is equipped to run crude from around the world, he said.
PBF will maintain a supply contract with Venezuela, but will look "quickly" to widen its crude slate, CEO Tom Nimbly said.
The company will also look to increase the refinery's throughput of light-sweet crude from about 40,000 bpd to up to 60,000 bpd, Nimbly said.
The refinery runs both light and heavy crudes, with about one-third of its throughput coming from Venezuela, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In the first quarter, the refinery imported an average of 73,000 bpd of crude from Venezuela, or about 10 percent of all U.S. imports from the country, according to the EIA. Continuación...