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Reuters: UPDATE 1-US Shell refineries well-supplied with oil- exec

Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:31 PM BST
(Adds comments from Shell Oil president)

WASHINGTON, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Shell Oil Co.’s (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile , Research) U.S. refineries have all the oil they need to make gasoline and other refined products, the company’s president said on Thursday.

“We have very reliable supply contracts,” Shell Oil President John Hofmeister told reporters.

Separately, Hofmeister said high levels of refined product imports to U.S. shores are weighing down refinery margins.

“Tight refinery margins are largely attributable to continued high levels of imports,” he said.

Still, he said current overall margins are “within normal ranges” and perhaps “somewhat at the low end” in California and in the “medium range” for the Gulf Coast.

Even though refinery margins are tight, Hofmeister said Shell has no plans to slow the expansion of its joint-venture refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.

“Any project that we’re going to do, like the Port Arthur project, is going to be taken in a very long-term view in terms of how we see the markets over the future,” he said.

“We kind of work through these margin cycles — up and down,” Hofmeister said.

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