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Phillips 66 Sees 25% 2017 Capital Reduction, Focuses on NGLs, Transportation

While still taking a cautious approach to investment due to the current business climate, Houston-based Phillips 66 said Friday that more than half of its 2017 capital budget will be allotted to the company’s natural gas liquids (NGL) and transportation businesses, with 85% of that targeting growth projects.

The energy manufacturing and logistics company said its 2017 capital budget will be $2.7 billion (outside of joint ventures), of which $1.5 billion is earmarked for NGLs and transportation. The $2.7 billion figure represents a 25% discount to the $3.6 billion that was allotted (outside of joint ventures) for 2016.

Overall, the 2007 plan includes $1.3 billion for midstream growth and $0.9 billion directed toward enhancing refining returns and “supporting operating excellence.”

Phillips 66’s proportionate share of capital spending by joint ventures Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC (CPChem), DCP Midstream LLC and WRB Refining LP is expected to be $1.1 billion for 2017. Including these equity affiliates, the company’s total 2017 capital program is projected to be $3.8 billion.

On the NGL front, Phillips 66 said it is focused on development around its existing infrastructure’s footprint, including continued expansion of the Beaumont Terminal and investment in pipelines and other terminals.

“The 2017 capital program is consistent with our disciplined approach to capital allocation,” said CEO Greg Garland. “Returns on our investments are important, and the reduction in capital spending from prior years reflects that fewer projects meet our return thresholds in the current business environment.”

Phillips 66 midstream capital encompasses spending expected by Phillips 66 Partners of $437 million, including $56 million of maintenance capital. Expansion capital at the partnership will be in support of organic projects, such as the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, which will connect the Beaumont Terminal with St. James, LA, the company said. The western leg of the pipeline began operation in April 2016, while the eastern leg, with service from Lake Charles, LA, to St. James, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2017.

Phillips 66 said it plans $905 million of capital expenditures and investments in refining, with 65% of that for reliability, safety and environmental projects. Growth capital in refining will be directed toward small, high-return, quick payout projects, primarily to reduce feedstock costs and improve clean product yields.

CPChem is investing in projects aimed at capturing cost-advantaged petrochemical feedstocks on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Phillips 66’s share of CPChem’s 2017 capital expenditures is expected to be $675 million and funding will support completion of CPChem’s 3.3 billion-pound-per-year ethane cracker and two 1.1 billion-pound-per-year polyethylene facilities being constructed in the Gulf Coast region.

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