Tickers in this Article: COP, CVE, VLO, MPC
Conoco Phillips (NYSE:COP) plan to separate the company's refining and marketing assets from the rest of the company through a spin off in 2012 will create the second largest independent refiner in the United States. The new company will also have a large retail and wholesale marketing network in the United States and Europe to distribute its products. TUTORIAL: The Industry Handbook: The Oil Services Industry

What Do Investors Get?
Conoco Phillips owned 2.4 million barrels per day of refining capacity at the end of 2010, with 83% of this capacity located in the United States. The company owns interests in 16 refineries, with 12 in the United States, three in Europe and one in Asia.

Valero (NYSE:VLO), with 2.2 million barrels per day of capacity, will be the only independent refiner with more capacity in the United States.

United States
Conoco Phillips operates refining capacity in all five Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts (PADD) regions in the United States. One of the company's largest refinery is the Wood River facility located near St. Louis, Missouri, which has gross capacity of 306,000 barrels per day. The company owns 50% of Wood River along with Cenovus Energy (NYSE:CVE).

Conoco Phillips is also in the middle of expanding the Wood River facility to increase the total capacity and the amount of heavy oil that the facility can process. The Coker and Refinery Expansion (CORE) project was started in 2008 and is expected to begin operations in 2011.

After the CORE project is complete, Wood River will have total gross capacity of 356,000 barrels per day and 240,000 barrels per day of heavy crude oil refining capacity.

Conoco Phillips is not the only company involved in the expansion of heavy oil processing capacity. Marathon Petroleum Company (NYSE:MPC) is working to expand a refinery in Detroit. The Detroit Heavy Oil Project Upgrade will increase total refining capacity here to 120,000 barrels per day.

In Europe, Conoco Phillips largest refinery is the Humber facility in the United Kingdom, with capacity of 221,000 barrels per day. The company also owns refineries in Ireland, Germany and Malysia.

Marketing Assets
Conoco Phillips also has an extensive retail and wholesale marketing network used to sell gasoline and other finished products across the world. The company has 8,300 outlets in the United States operating under the Conoco, 76, and Phillips brands. In Europe, the company has 1,700 outlets operating under the Jet brand.

Conoco Phillips has decided to split the company into two parts and will spin off the company's refining and marketing businesses in 2012. This reorganization will create the second-largest independent refiner in the United States. (To learn more about crude oil, please see: Commodities: Crude Oil)

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