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Delta Airlines, through its subsidiary Monroe Energy LLC, is acquiring the Trainer refinery complex from Phillips 66 for $150 million. $30 million is in the form of state aid for job creation and improving infrastructure.The refinery located on the Delaware River in the south of Philadelphia, gives Delta pipelines and transportation assets that will help deliver jet fuel to its operations through the Northeast.
Monroe is partnering with other energy giants like BP to supply crude oil and jet-fuel in exchange for non-jet fuel from its refinery at Trainer.
Production at the refinery and agreements to exchange-gasoline, diesel, and other refined products for jet fuel is expected meet 80 per cent of Delta’s jet fuel needs. Delta’s CEO Richard Anderson said the move should reduce the airlines fuel costs by $300 million annually.
Dennis Gartman, investor and publisher of The Gartman Letter, said he was sceptical of the move:
“We are still somewhat sceptical of the decision, although the price and the state funds associated with the purchase are clearly a deal-maker in this instance. We are sceptical that an airline is capable of running an oil refinery, but if the company is able to buy the assets and is able to keep the current staff intact perhaps this shall prove to be a very real coup for Delta in the longer run.
We are sceptical but we are open to the daring nature of the decision. Indeed, were this US Airway’s management we’d be openly antagonistic toward the decision, for USAirway’s is incapable of doing anything right. Delta’s management, on the other hand, has proven to be far the better.”
Gartman said this could become on the better trading ideas of the decade. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of the year and jet fuel production is expected to start in the third quarter.