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NuStar’s Stellar Q2s

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San Antonio-based NuStar Energy, one of the largest independent liquids terminal and pipeline operators in the US, has reported a net income of $63m for the second quarter of 2021 compared to net income of $30m, for the second quarter of 2020. Pretax earnings were $189m for the second quarter of 2021, up by $27m, or 17%, from $162m for the second quarter of 2020.

“Strong improvement in our EBITDA was driven by outperformance across our core strategic asset footprint: our refined products systems, our crude assets and our West Coast Renewable Fuels Network,” said NuStar president and CEO Brad Barron.


Barron went on to say that, as more Americans have returned to normal daily activities, refined product demand has continued to improve. “After dipping to an average of 95% in the first quarter due to Winter Storm Uri, our second quarter average rebounded back up to 105% of pre-pandemic demand, and we are now forecasting 100% for the full year,” he said.

Rebounding crude demand, along with tempered global supply, has contributed to higher crude prices and improved expectations for US shale production, particularly in the Permian Basin, stated Barron. NuStar’s Permian system’s volumes grew in the second quarter to an average 450,000 barrels per day, up 12% over the second quarter of 2020, up 12% over the first quarter of 2021 and comparable to its record-breaking first quarter 2020 pre-COVID quarterly average.

Barron also said NuStar’s West Coast Renewable Fuels Network is already playing an integral role in significant reductions in carbon emissions and offering a great growth platform across that region. According to the latest available data from the state of California, for the first quarter of 2021 NuStar handled about 5% of California’s total biodiesel volumes; close to 20% of the state’s ethanol; and close to 30% of its renewable diesel volumes, he said.

Barron also disclosed that there are some additional opportunities for renewable fuels service in the company’s mid-continent operations. “We are also looking at some exciting renewables opportunities for our Ammonia System as it has always been a steady and important EBITDA contributor for NuStar,” he said.

“Currently, the ammonia we transport is used primarily for fertilizing crops by farmers in our nation’s ‘breadbasket.’ However, this critical chemical is now experiencing a renaissance as an energy source capable of powering zero-carbon, heavy-duty engines and marine vessels, as well as for ammonia’s ability to offer the safest and most efficient transport and storage medium for hydrogen,” said Barron.

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