Why did Valero shares jump today? Crack spreads support strong refinery runs (NYSE: VLO)

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Valero Energy (NYSE: VLO) topped all energy-related stocks on the S&P 500 Monday, followed closely by Phillips 66 (PSX), both up 5.2%as WTI crude oil climbed 1.2% to its best level since March 30.

Other oil refiners also closed with big gains, including (PBF) + 9.1%(CVI) + 7.9%(DK) + 7.2%(MPC) + 3.3%; ETF (CRAK) + 2.3%.

Libya’s National Oil Corp. shut down and declared force majeure at its largest oilfield, al-Sharara, which can pump 300K bbl / day, after protesters at the site demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Dbeibah.

The shutdown of al-Sharara and some other Libyan field pulls more than 500K bbl / day of production from an already under-supplied oil market, overshadowing signals that China’s drastic COVID-19 lockdowns are hurting on economic growth.

Also, physical crack spreads on the US Gulf Coast have increased to their best level in at least six years, supporting refinery run rates at their highest for this time of year in more than a decade, according to Bloomberg.

US crude oil prices jumped nearly 9% last week, helped by reports that the European Union was drafting a measure to ban Russian oil imports.

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