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Northeast Refineries Start Cutting Run Rates as Sandy Approaches

10/28/2012 | 05:26pm US/Eastern

A number of refineries in the U.S. northeast started scaling back production Sunday in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the east coast.

Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane with wind speeds of up to 75 miles an hour, is currently heading north in the Atlantic offshore of North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasts call for the storm to continue north before plowing west into New Jersey and Delaware late Monday.

Philadelphia Energy, which operates a former Sunoco Inc. refinery in Philadelphia after buying a majority stake in September, was discussing reducing rates of some production units at the 330,000 barrel-a-day refinery and would likely take action as early as Sunday night, a source familiar with the refinery said Sunday.

Hess Corp. (>> Hess Corp.) said Sunday it would reduce rates at its 70,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Port Reading, N.J., by an unspecified amount at 6 p.m. EDT.

Phillips 66 (>> Phillips 66), which runs the 238,000-barrel-a-day refinery in Linden, N.J., is tracking Sandy's progress but had not yet made any changes to its refinery operations, company spokeswoman Janet Grothe said.

About 6.5% of the total U.S. refining capacity is near the region in Sandy's forecast path, according to the U.S. Energy Administration.

-Write to Ben Lefebvre at ben.lefebvre@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

Stocks mentioned in the article : Hess Corp., Phillips 66
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