UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
þ
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
 
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2016
OR
o
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
 
FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM __________TO __________ 
Commission file number: 001-32567
ALON USA ENERGY, INC.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
(State of incorporation)
 
74-2966572
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
 
 
12700 Park Central Dr., Suite 1600, Dallas, Texas
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
75251
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (972) 367-3600
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 (b) of the Act:
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
 
 
 
Common Stock, par value
$0.01 per share
 
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 (g) of the Act: None.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No þ
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes þ No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer o
Accelerated filer þ
Non-accelerated filer o
Smaller reporting company o
 
 
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
 
Indicate by check whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No þ
The aggregate market value for the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2016, the last day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter was $201,820,455 based on the closing price of Alon USA Energy, Inc.’s common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange of $6.48.
The number of shares of the Registrant’s common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding as of February 21, 2017, was 71,761,117.
Documents incorporated by reference: Proxy statement of the registrant relating to the registrant’s 2017 annual meeting of stockholders, which is incorporated into Part III of this Form 10-K.
 
 



TABLE OF CONTENTS

 
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GLOSSARY OF TERMS
The following are definitions of certain industry terms used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K:
“2-1-1 crack spread” The approximate refining margin resulting from processing two barrels of crude oil to produce one barrel gasoline and one barrel of distillate.
3-2-1 crack spread The approximate refining margin resulting from processing three barrels of crude oil to produce two barrels of gasoline and one barrel of distillate.
“Alkylation” A process that chemically combines isobutane with other hydrocarbons through the control of temperature and pressure in the presence of an acid catalyst. This process produces alkylates, which have a high octane value and are blended into gasoline to improve octane values.
“Backwardation” A market is in backwardation when at a point in time the forward price is lower than the current (spot) price.
Barrel A common unit of measurement in the oil industry, which equates to 42 gallons.
“Biodiesel” A renewable fuel produced from vegetable oils or animal fats that can be blended with petroleum-derived diesel to produce biodiesel blends for use in diesel engines. Pure biodiesel is referred to as B100, whereas blends of biodiesel are referenced by how much biodiesel is in the blend (e.g., a B5 blend contains five volume percent biodiesel and 95 volume percent ULSD).
Blendstocks The various compounds that are combined with gasoline or diesel from the crude oil refining process to make finished gasoline and diesel; these may include natural gasoline, fluid catalytic cracking unit or FCCU gasoline, ethanol, reformate or butane, among others.
Bpd An abbreviation for barrels per calendar day, which is defined by the EIA as the amount of input that a distillation facility can process under usual operating conditions reduced for regular limitations that may delay, interrupt, or slow down production such as downtime due to such conditions as mechanical problems, repairs, and slowdowns.
Brent crude oil A light sweet crude oil characterized by an API gravity of approximately 38 degrees, and a sulfur content of approximately 0.4 weight percent.
Catalyst A substance that alters, accelerates, or instigates chemical changes, but is neither produced, consumed nor altered in the process.
“Contango” A market is in contango when at a point in time the forward price is higher than the current (spot) price.
“Cpg” An abbreviation for cents per gallon.
“Cracking” The process of breaking down larger hydrocarbon molecules into smaller molecules, using catalysts and/or elevated temperatures and pressures.
Crack spread A simplified calculation that measures the difference between the price for light products and crude oil.
“Delayed Coking Unit (Coker)” A refinery unit that processes (“cracks”) heavy oils, such as the bottom cuts of crude oil from the crude or vacuum units, to produce blendstocks for light transportation fuels or feedstocks for other units and petroleum coke.
Distillates Primarily diesel, kerosene and jet fuel, as well as light cycle oil.
“EPA” An abbreviation for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Feedstocks Hydrocarbons, such as crude oil, that are processed and blended into refined products.
“Fluid Catalytic Cracking” A process that breaks down larger, heavier, and more complex hydrocarbon molecules into simpler and lighter molecules (LPG, gasoline, light cycle oil, etc.) through the use of a catalytic agent and is used to increase the yield of gasoline. Fluid catalytic cracking uses a catalyst in the form of very fine particles, which behave as a fluid when aerated with a vapor.
“Gulf Coast 2-1-1 high sulfur diesel crack spread” The 2-1-1 crack spread calculated using the market value of Gulf Coast conventional gasoline and Gulf Coast high sulfur diesel against the market value of LLS crude oil.
Gulf Coast (WTI) 3-2-1 crack spread The 3-2-1 crack spread calculated using the market value of Gulf Coast conventional gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel against the market value of NYMEX Cushing WTI.
“Heavy Crude Oil” Crude oil with an API gravity of 24 degrees or less. Heavy crude oil is typically sold at a discount to lighter crude oil.

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“Heavy Fuel Oils, Residual Products, Internally Produced Fuel and Other” Products other than gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel produced in the refining process. These products include residual fuels, gas oils, propane, petroleum coke, asphalt and internally produced fuel.
“HLS” Heavy Louisiana Sweet crude oil; typical API gravity of 33° and sulfur content of 0.35%.
“Hydrocracking” A process that uses a catalyst to crack heavy hydrocarbon molecules in the presence of hydrogen. Major products from hydrocracking are distillates, naphtha, propane and gasoline components such as butane.
“Hydrotreating” A process that removes sulfur from refined products in the presence of catalysts and substantial quantities of hydrogen to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions that result from the use of the products.
“Isomerization” A process that alters the fundamental arrangement of atoms in the molecule without adding or removing anything from the original material. The process is used to convert normal butane into isobutane and normal pentane into isopentane and hexane into isohexane.
“Light Crude Oil” Crude oil with an API gravity greater than 24 degrees. Light crude oil is typically sold at a premium to heavy crude oil.
“Light/Medium/Heavy Crude Oil” Terms used to describe the relative densities of crude oil, normally represented by their API gravities. Light crude oils (those having relatively high API gravities) may be refined into a greater amount of valuable products and are typically more expensive than a heavier crude oil.
“Liquefied Petroleum Gas” or “LPG” Gas mainly composed of propane and butane, which has been liquefied at low temperatures and moderate pressures. The gas is obtainable from refinery gases or after the cracking process of crude oil. At atmospheric pressure, it is easily converted into gas and can be used industrially or domestically.
“LLS” Light Louisiana Sweet crude oil; typical API gravity of 38° and sulfur content of 0.34%.
“Merger Agreement” refers to the Agreement and Plan of Merger, referred to as the “merger agreement”, dated as of January 2, 2017, by and among Delek US Holdings, Inc. (“Delek”), Alon USA Energy, Inc. (“Alon”), Delek Holdco, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delek (“HoldCo”), Dione Mergeco, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of HoldCo (“Delek Merger Sub”) and Astro Mergeco, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of HoldCo (“Alon Merger Sub”), under which Delek Merger Sub will merge with and into Delek (the “Delek Merger”), with Delek surviving as a wholly-owned subsidiary of HoldCo, a new holding company formed by Delek, and Astro Mergeco, Inc. will merge with and into Alon (the “Alon Merger”), with Alon surviving. We refer to the Delek Merger and the Alon Merger together as the “Mergers.”
“Naphtha” A hydrocarbon fraction that is used as a gasoline blending component, a feedstock for reforming and as a petrochemical feedstock.
“Nelson complexity” A measure of secondary conversion capacity of a refinery relative to its primary distillation capacity. Generally, more complex refineries have a higher index number.
“New Delek common stock” refers to HoldCo common stock, par value $0.01 per share, to be issued to holders of Alon common stock and Delek common stock upon completion of the Mergers.
“NYMEX” The New York Mercantile Exchange. A commodities futures exchange.
“Refined products” Petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, which are produced by a refinery.
“Refining margin” A metric used in the refining industry to assess a refinery’s product margins by comparing the difference between the price of refined products produced at the refinery and the price of crude oil required to produce those products.
“Reforming” A process that uses controlled heat and pressure with catalysts to rearrange certain hydrocarbon molecules into petrochemical feedstocks and higher octane stocks suitable for blending into finished gasoline.
“Renewable Fuels Standard 2 (RFS-2)” An EPA regulation promulgated pursuant to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires most refineries to blend increasing amounts of renewable fuels (including biodiesel and ethanol) with refined products.
“Renewable Identification Number (RINs)” A serial number assigned to a batch of biofuel for the purpose of tracking its production, use, and trading as required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuel Standard 2 (RFS-2).
“Retail Fuel Margin” The margin on fuel products sold through our retail segment calculated as revenues less cost of sales. Cost of sales in fuel margin are based on purchases from our refining segment and third parties using average bulk market prices adjusted for transportation and other differentials.

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“Sour crude oil” A crude oil that is relatively high in sulfur content, requiring additional processing to remove the sulfur. Sour crude oil is typically less expensive than sweet crude oil.
“Sweet crude oil” A crude oil that is relatively low in sulfur content, requiring less processing to remove the sulfur. Sweet crude oil is typically more expensive than sour crude oil.
“Throughput” The volume processed through a unit or a refinery.
“Turnaround” A periodically required standard procedure to refurbish and maintain a refinery that involves the shutdown and inspection of major processing units and occurs every three to four years on industry average.
“Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel” Diesel fuel produced with lower sulfur content to lower emissions, which is required for on-road use in the U.S.
“Utilization” Average daily crude oil throughput divided by crude oil capacity, excluding planned periods of downtime for maintenance and turnarounds.
“Vacuum Distillation” Distillation under reduced pressure, which lowers the boiling temperature of crude oil in order to distill crude oil components that have high boiling points.
“WTI” West Texas Intermediate crude oil, a light, sweet crude oil, characterized by an API gravity between 39° and 41° and a sulfur content of approximately 0.3 weight percent that is used as a benchmark for other crudes.
“WTS” West Texas Sour crude oil, a sour crude oil, characterized by an API gravity between 30° and 33° and a sulfur content of approximately 1.28 weight percent that is used as a benchmark for other sour crudes.
“Yield” The percentage of refined products that is produced from crude oil and other feedstocks.

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Table of Contents

PART I
ITEMS 1. AND 2. BUSINESS AND PROPERTIES.
Statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including those in Items 1 and 2, “Business and Properties,” and Item 3, “Legal Proceedings,” that are not historical in nature should be deemed forward-looking statements that are inherently uncertain. See “Forward-Looking Statements” in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Item 7 for a discussion of forward-looking statements and of factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from those projected.
Company Overview
In this Annual Report, the words “Alon,” “we,” “our” and “us” or like terms refer to Alon USA Energy, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries or to Alon USA Energy, Inc. or an individual subsidiary, and not to any other person. Generally, the words “we,” “our” and “us” include Alon USA Partners, LP and its consolidated subsidiaries (the “Partnership”) as consolidated subsidiaries of Alon USA Energy, Inc. unless when used in disclosures of transactions or obligations between the Partnership and Alon USA Energy, Inc., or its other subsidiaries.
We are an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the United States. We own 100% of the general partner and 81.6% of the limited partner interests in the Partnership (NYSE: ALDW), which owns a crude oil refinery in Big Spring, Texas, with a crude oil throughput capacity of 73,000 bpd and an integrated wholesale marketing business. In addition, we directly own a crude oil refinery in Krotz Springs, Louisiana, with a crude oil throughput capacity of 74,000 bpd. We also own crude oil refineries in California, which have not processed crude oil since 2012. We own a majority interest in a renewable fuels facility in California, with a throughput capacity of 3,000 bpd. We are a leading marketer of asphalt, which we distribute primarily through asphalt terminals located predominately in the Southwestern and Western United States. We are the largest 7-Eleven licensee in the United States and operate approximately 300 convenience stores which also market motor fuels in Central and West Texas and New Mexico.
We were incorporated in 2000 under Delaware law. Our principal executive offices are located at 12700 Park Central Drive, Suite 1600, Dallas, Texas 75251, and our telephone number is (972) 367-3600. Our website can be found at www.alonusa.com.
On January 2, 2017, we, Delek, HoldCo, Parent Merger Sub and Astro Merger Sub entered into the Merger Agreement pursuant to which (i) Parent Merger Sub will, upon the terms and subject to the conditions thereof, merger with and into Delek (the “Parent Merger”), with Delek surviving as a wholly owned subsidiary of Holdco and (ii) Astro Merger Sub will, upon the terms and subject to the conditions thereof, merge with and into Alon (the “Astro Merger” and, together with the Parent Merger, the “Mergers”), with Alon surviving.
In the Parent Merger, each issued and outstanding share of common stock of Delek, par value $0.01 per share (“Delek Common Stock”), or fraction thereof, will be converted into the right to receive one validly issued, fully paid and non-assessable share of Holdco common stock, par value $0.01 per share (“New Common Stock”) or such fraction thereof equal to the fractional share of Delek Common Stock, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Merger Agreement.
In the Astro Merger, each issued and outstanding share of common stock of Alon, par value $0.01 per share (“Alon Common Stock”), other than Alon Common Stock held by Delek or any subsidiary of Delek, will be converted into the right to receive 0.504 validly issued, fully paid and non-assessable shares of New Common Stock, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Merger Agreement (the “New Stock Issuance”).
The completion of the Mergers is subject to satisfaction or waiver of certain customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first half of 2017.
Our stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol “ALJ.”
We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements, and file or furnish other information, with the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Our SEC filings are available to the public at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. In addition, we make our SEC filings available, free of charge, through our website at http://ir.alonusa.com as soon as reasonably practicable after we file with or furnish such material to the SEC. We will provide copies of our filings free of charge to our stockholders upon written request to Alon USA Energy, Inc., Attention: Investor Relations, 12700 Park Central Drive, Suite 1600, Dallas, Texas 75251. We have also made the following documents available through our website:
Compensation Committee Charter;
Audit Committee Charter;
Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Charter;


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Corporate Governance Guidelines; and
Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
Business
Our presentation of segment data reflects our following three operating segments: (i) refining and marketing, (ii) asphalt and (iii) retail. Additional information regarding our operating segments and properties is presented in the notes to our consolidated financial statements, included in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Refining and Marketing
Our refining and marketing segment includes a sour crude oil refinery located in Big Spring, Texas, a light sweet crude oil refinery located in Krotz Springs, Louisiana, and heavy crude oil refineries located in Paramount, Bakersfield and Long Beach, California (“California refineries”). Our California refineries have not processed crude oil since 2012. Our refining and marketing segment also includes our majority ownership interest in a renewable fuels facility in California, which has a throughput capacity of 3,000 bpd. We primarily refine crude oil into petroleum products, including various grades of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, petrochemicals, petrochemical feedstocks, asphalt, and other petroleum-based products, which are marketed primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the United States.
Alon USA Partners, LP (NYSE: ALDW)
Alon owns the Big Spring refinery and its integrated wholesale marketing operations through the Partnership. As of December 31, 2016, the common units held by the public represent 18.4% of the Partnership’s common units outstanding. We own the remaining 81.6% of the Partnership’s common units and Alon USA Partners GP, LLC (the “General Partner”), our wholly-owned subsidiary, owns 100% of the general partner interest in the Partnership, which is a non-economic interest. The Partnership is consolidated within our refining and marketing segment.
Big Spring Refinery
The Big Spring refinery has a crude oil throughput capacity of 73,000 bpd and is located on 1,306 acres in the Permian Basin in West Texas. Major processes at our Big Spring refinery include fluid catalytic cracking, naphtha reforming, vacuum distillation, hydrotreating, aromatic extraction and alkylation.
Our Big Spring refinery has a Nelson complexity of 10.5, which allows us the flexibility to process a variety of crudes into higher-value refined products. Our Big Spring refinery has a sulfur processing capability of approximately two tons per thousand bpd of crude oil capacity, which provides the capability to process significant volumes of high-sulfur, or sour, crude oil to produce a high percentage of light, high-value refined products. Our Big Spring refinery is also capable of processing significant volumes of light, sweet crude as market conditions dictate. All of the crude oil processed at our Big Spring refinery is West Texas crude oil priced in Midland, Texas (“Midland”), which has generally traded at a discount to Cushing, Oklahoma (“Cushing”) prices.
Our Big Spring refinery produces ultra-low sulfur gasoline, ultra-low sulfur diesel, jet fuel, petrochemicals, liquefied petroleum gas, asphalt and other petroleum products. This refinery typically converts approximately 90% of its feedstock into high-value products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and petrochemicals, with the remaining 10% primarily converted to asphalt and liquefied petroleum gas. In 2016, this refinery achieved a liquid recovery of 100.0%.
Big Spring Refinery Raw Material Supply
West Texas crudes have historically been transported to Cushing for sale. Over the last few years, strong growth in Permian Basin oil production and logistical constraints with moving oil to end markets had depressed prices for Midland crudes resulting in significant discounts to WTI Cushing. However, new pipeline takeaway capacity to the Texas Gulf Coast has been added to alleviate those constraints. The lower price of crude during 2015 and 2016 has reduced production growth in the Permian Basin, and existing takeaway capacity is sufficient for current oil production. As a result, discounts in Midland crudes relative to WTI Cushing have contracted.
The Big Spring refinery is the closest refinery to Midland, Texas, which allows us to efficiently source WTS and WTI Midland crudes. Additionally, the Big Spring refinery has the ability to source locally-trucked crudes, which enables us to better control quality and eliminate the cost of transporting the crude supply from Midland. During 2016, our Big Spring refinery’s total refinery throughput was comprised of 43.4% WTS, 51.7% WTI Midland and 4.9% blendstocks.
Our Big Spring refinery receives WTS and WTI crudes by truck from local gathering systems and regional common carrier pipelines, such as the Mesa Interconnect, Centurion, Sunrise, Medallion and Navigator pipelines.


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Other feedstocks, including butane, isobutane and asphalt blending components, are delivered by truck and railcar. A majority of the natural gas we use to run the refinery is delivered by a pipeline in which we own a 63.0% interest.
Big Spring Refinery Production
Transportation Fuels. We produce various grades of gasoline which comply with the EPA’s current ultra-low sulfur gasoline standard of 30 parts per million including boutique fuels supplied to the El Paso, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona, markets. We produce both on-road and off-road diesel which complies with the EPA’s ultra-low sulfur diesel standard of 15 ppm. Our jet fuel production conforms to the JP-8 grade military specifications.
Asphalt. Asphalt produced at the Big Spring refinery is sold to our asphalt segment at prices substantially determined by reference to the cost of crude and Rocky Mountain asphalt, which is intended to approximate bulk wholesale market prices.
Petrochemicals, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Other. We produce propane, propylene, certain aromatics, specialty solvents and benzene for use as petrochemical feedstocks, along with other by-products such as sulfur and carbon black oil.
Big Spring Refinery Transportation Fuel Marketing
We sell refined products from our Big Spring refinery in both the wholesale rack and bulk markets. Our marketing of transportation fuels produced at our Big Spring refinery is focused on Central and West Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. We refer to our operations in these regions as our “physically integrated system” because we primarily supply our customers in this region with motor fuels produced at our Big Spring refinery and distributed through a network of pipelines and terminals that we own or access through leases or long-term throughput agreements.
Branded Transportation Fuel Marketing. We sell motor fuels under the Alon brand through various terminals to supply 639 locations, including our convenience stores. We provide substantially all of our branded customers motor fuels, brand support and payment processing services in addition to the license of the Alon brand name and associated trade dress. In 2016, we sold 315.9 million gallons of gasoline and 87.1 million gallons of diesel as branded fuels, which represented 58% of the gasoline and 25% of the diesel produced at our Big Spring refinery.
We supply substantially all of the retail segment’s motor fuel requirements, which are sold at market prices. In 2016, we sold 153.7 million gallons of gasoline and 26.3 million gallons of diesel to our retail convenience stores, which represented 28% of the gasoline and 8% of the diesel produced at our Big Spring refinery.
Unbranded Transportation Fuel Marketing. We sell motor fuels on an unbranded basis through terminals. Including purchases for resale, in 2016, we sold 139.9 million gallons of gasoline and 245.4 million gallons of diesel as unbranded fuels, which were largely sold through our physically integrated system. These unbranded fuel sales represented 26% of the gasoline and 72% of the diesel produced at our Big Spring refinery.
Jet Fuel Marketing. We market substantially all the jet fuel produced at our Big Spring refinery as JP-8 grade to the Defense Energy Supply Center (“DESC”). All DESC contracts are for a one-year term and are awarded through a competitive bidding process. We have traditionally bid for contracts to supply Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, and Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. Jet fuel production in excess of existing contracts is sold through unbranded terminal sales.
Product Supply Sales. We sell transportation fuel production in excess of our branded and unbranded marketing needs through bulk sales and exchange channels. These bulk sales and exchange arrangements are entered into with various oil companies and trading companies and are transported through a product pipeline network or truck deliveries. The petrochemical feedstocks and other petroleum products we produce are sold to a wide customer base and transported by truck and railcars.
Distribution Network and Distributor Arrangements. We sell motor fuel to our retail locations and to 21 third-party distributors, who then supply and sell to retail outlets. The supply agreements we maintain with our third-party distributors are generally for three-year terms and usually include 10-day payment terms and contain incentives and penalties based on the consistency of their purchases.
Big Spring Refined Product Pipelines
The product pipelines we utilize to deliver refined products from our Big Spring refinery are linked to the major third-party product pipelines in the geographic area around the Big Spring refinery. These pipelines provide us flexibility to optimize product flows into multiple regional markets. This product pipeline network can also (1) receive additional transportation fuel products from the Gulf Coast, (2) deliver products to the Magellan system, our connection to the Group III, or mid-continent markets, and (3) deliver products to the New Mexico and Arizona markets through third-party systems.


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Product Terminals
We primarily utilize three product terminals in Big Spring, Abilene, and Wichita Falls, Texas to market transportation fuels produced at our Big Spring refinery, as well as a terminal in Duncan, Oklahoma. All four of these terminals are physically integrated with our Big Spring refinery through the product pipelines we utilize. The Big Spring, Abilene and Wichita Falls terminals are equipped with truck loading racks. The Duncan, Oklahoma terminal is used for delivering shipments into third-party pipeline systems. We also have direct access to three other terminals located in El Paso, Texas and Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona.
Krotz Springs Refinery
The Krotz Springs refinery has a crude oil throughput capacity of 74,000 bpd with a Nelson complexity of 8.4 and is strategically located on 381 acres on the Atchafalaya River in central Louisiana. This location provides access to crude from barge, pipeline, railcar and truck. The refinery has direct access to the Colonial product pipeline system (“Colonial Pipeline”). This combination of logistics assets provides us with diversified access to locally-sourced, domestic and foreign crudes, as well as distribution of our products to markets throughout the Southern and Eastern United States and along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Major processes at the Krotz Springs refinery include vacuum distillation, catalytic cracking, basic distillation and naphtha reforming to minimize low quality black oil production and to produce higher light product yields.
Our Krotz Springs refinery has the capability to process substantial volumes of low sulfur, or sweet, crude, which has historically accounted for 100% of the Krotz Springs refinery’s crude oil throughput. This refinery typically converts approximately 90% of its feedstock into high-value finished products such as gasoline and distillates, with the remaining 10% primarily converted to liquefied petroleum gas. This refinery generally achieves a high liquid recovery, which was 101.8% in 2016.
Krotz Springs Refinery Raw Material Supply
The Krotz Springs refinery has access to various types of domestic and foreign crudes via pipeline, barge, rail and truck delivery. We are capable of receiving LLS, HLS and foreign crudes from the EMPCo “Northline System.” The Northline System delivers LLS, HLS and foreign crude oils from the St. James, Louisiana, crude oil terminaling complex. Additionally, the Krotz Springs refinery has the ability to receive crude oil sourced from West Texas. This crude oil is transported through the Amdel pipeline to the Nederland terminal located near the Gulf Coast and from there is transported to the Krotz Springs refinery by barge via the Intracoastal Canal and the Atchafalaya River. As discounts in West Texas crude prices have narrowed, the Krotz Springs refinery has shifted its crude supply to rely less on West Texas crude. The Krotz Springs refinery also receives approximately 20% of its crude by barge and truck from inland Louisiana and Mississippi.
Krotz Springs Refinery Production
Our Krotz Springs refinery produces gasoline, high sulfur diesel, light cycle oil, jet fuel, petrochemical feedstocks, LPG and slurry oil.
Krotz Springs Refinery Transportation Fuel Marketing
We market transportation fuel production substantially through bulk sales and exchange channels. These bulk sales and exchange arrangements are entered into with various oil companies and trading companies and are transported to markets on the Mississippi River and the Atchafalaya River as well as to the Colonial Pipeline. Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015, we began shipping and selling gasoline into wholesale markets in the Southern and Eastern United States using our status as a regular shipper on the Colonial Pipeline.
Krotz Springs Refinery Product Pipelines
The Krotz Springs refinery connects to and distributes refined products into the Colonial Pipeline for distribution by us and our customers to the Southern and Eastern United States.
Krotz Springs Refinery Barge, Railcar and Truck
Products not shipped through the Colonial Pipeline, such as high sulfur diesel, are transported by barge for sale. Barges originating at the Krotz Springs refinery have access to both the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
Propylene/propane mix is sold via railcar and truck to consumers at Mont Belvieu, Texas, or in adjacent Louisiana markets. Mixed LPGs are shipped to an LPG fractionator at Napoleonville, Louisiana. We pay a fractionation fee and sell the ethane and propane to a regional chemical company under contract, transport the normal butane back to the Krotz Springs refinery by truck for blending and sell the isobutane and natural gasoline on a spot basis.


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California Refineries
Our California refineries historically operated as one integrated refinery. However, due to the high cost of crude oil relative to product yield and low asphalt demand, our California refineries have not processed crude oil since 2012. The Paramount refinery is located on 63 acres in Paramount, California. The Long Beach refinery is located on 19 acres in Long Beach, California. The Bakersfield refinery is located on approximately 600 acres in Bakersfield, California. The California refineries have the capability to produce gasoline, distillates, vacuum gas oil and asphalt.
On March 1, 2016, we acquired control of the California renewable fuels facility, which initially provides for us to receive approximately 77% of earnings and distributions of the facility. We increased our original 32% ownership and obtained control of the California renewable fuels facility after certain operational milestones were achieved. Our share of earnings and distributions will change upon the achievement of certain cash distribution milestones. In each case following the achievement of cash distribution milestones and assuming no further dilution to any of the members in the facility, our share of earnings and distributions will be reduced to approximately 57% and then be increased to approximately 62%, at which time the percentage will become fixed.
The facility utilizes existing equipment at our southern California refinery and newly installed equipment to convert approximately 3,000 barrels per day of tallow and other feedstocks into renewable fuels, which are drop-in replacements for petroleum-based fuels. These fuels provide the same performance as conventional, petroleum-based fuels. The facility generates environmental credits in the form of renewable identification numbers and California low-carbon fuels standards credits, as well as the blender’s tax credits, when effective. Our California renewable fuels facility began operations in February 2016.
California Refineries Raw Material Supply
Historically, our California refineries received crude oil primarily from common carrier, private carrier and our owned pipelines. We have the capability to receive crude oil by rail at each of the California refineries’ locations. Other feedstocks, including butane and gasoline blendstocks, can be delivered by truck and pipeline. This combination of transportation arrangements allows the California refineries to receive and optimize the crude slate of waterborne domestic and foreign crude oil, along with California crude oil.
California Pipelines/Terminals
The California refineries utilize product pipelines, truck racks and terminals to distribute refined products. The Paramount and Long Beach refineries are connected by pipelines that we own or lease.
The California refineries have a feedstock pipeline and terminal system that is capable of supplying untreated vacuum gas oil and other unfinished products to other Los Angeles Basin refineries and third-party terminals.
Supply and Offtake Agreements
J. Aron and Company (“J. Aron”), through arrangements with various oil companies, is one of our largest suppliers of crude oil and one of our largest customers of refined products from our Big Spring, Krotz Springs and California refineries.
We have entered into Supply and Offtake Agreements and other associated agreements (together the “Supply and Offtake Agreements”) with J. Aron to support the operations of our Big Spring, Krotz Springs and California refineries. Pursuant to the Supply and Offtake Agreements, (i) J. Aron agreed to sell to us, and we agreed to buy from J. Aron, at market prices, crude oil for processing at the refineries and (ii) we agreed to sell, and J. Aron agreed to buy, at market prices, certain refined products produced at the refineries.
The Supply and Offtake Agreements also provided for the sale, at market prices, of our crude oil and certain refined product inventories to J. Aron, the lease to J. Aron of crude oil and refined product storage facilities, and the identification of prospective purchasers of refined products on J. Aron’s behalf.
For additional information on our Supply and Offtake Agreements, see Note 10 to the consolidated financial statements in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Asphalt
We own or operate 11 asphalt terminals located in Texas (Big Spring), Washington (Richmond Beach), California (Paramount, Long Beach, Elk Grove, Mojave and Bakersfield), Arizona (Phoenix and Flagstaff) as well as asphalt terminals in which we own a 50% interest located in Fernley, Nevada, and Brownwood, Texas. The operations in which we have a 50% interest are recorded under the equity method of accounting, and the investments are included as part of total assets in the asphalt segment data.


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We purchase non-blended asphalt from third parties in addition to non-blended asphalt produced at the Big Spring refinery. We market asphalt through our terminals as blended and non-blended asphalt. Through our asphalt facilities, we are marketing a number of different product formulations, including both polymer modified asphalt and ground tire rubber asphalt. We have an exclusive license to use advanced asphalt-blending technology in West Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, and a non-exclusive license in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, with respect to asphalt produced at our Big Spring refinery.
Asphalt produced at our Big Spring refinery is transferred to our asphalt segment at prices substantially determined by reference to the cost of crude and Rocky Mountain asphalt, which is intended to approximate wholesale market prices. We market asphalt primarily as paving asphalt to road and materials manufacturers and as ground tire rubber polymer modified or emulsion asphalt to highway construction/maintenance contractors. Sales of asphalt are seasonal with the majority of sales occurring between May and October.
Retail
As of December 31, 2016, we operated 306 owned and leased convenience store sites located primarily in Central and West Texas and New Mexico. Our convenience stores typically offer various grades of gasoline, diesel, food products, food service, tobacco products, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, general merchandise as well as money orders to the public.
As of December 31, 2016, we had 296 retail convenience store sites that offer various grades of gasoline and diesel under the Alon brand name.
We are the largest 7-Eleven licensee in the United States and have the exclusive right to use the 7-Eleven trade name in substantially all of our existing retail markets and many surrounding areas. We are party to a license agreement with 7-Eleven, Inc. which gives us a perpetual license to use the 7-Eleven trademark, service name and trade name in West Texas and a majority of the counties in New Mexico in connection with our retail store operations. Substantially all of the merchandise sales at our convenience store sites are sold under the 7-Eleven brand name.
Competition
The petroleum refining and marketing industry continues to be highly competitive. Our industry is impacted by competition from integrated multi-national oil companies including ExxonMobil, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell. Because of their diversity, integration of operations and larger capitalization, these major competitors may have greater financial support and may have a better ability to bear the economic risks, operating risks and volatile market conditions associated with the petroleum industry.
Refining and Marketing
Our principal competitors include major independent refining and marketing companies such as Valero, Phillips 66, HollyFrontier and Tesoro. Profitability in the refining and marketing industry depends on the difference between refined product prices and the prices for crude oil and other feedstocks, also referred to as refining margins. Refining margins are impacted by, among other things, levels of crude and refined product inventories, balance of supply and demand, utilization rates of refineries and global economic and political events.
All of our crude oil and feedstocks are purchased from third-party sources, while some of our vertically-integrated competitors have their own sources of crude oil that they may use to supply their refineries. However, our Big Spring refinery is in close proximity to Midland, which is the largest origination terminal for West Texas crude oil. We believe this provides us with transportation cost advantages.
The markets for our refined products are generally supplied by a number of competitors, including large integrated oil companies and independent refiners. These larger companies typically have greater resources and may have greater flexibility in responding to volatile market conditions or absorbing market changes.
The principal competitive factors affecting our marketing businesses are price and quality of products, reliability and availability of supply and location of distribution points.
Asphalt
We compete in the asphalt market with various refiners including Valero, Tesoro, U.S. Oil, San Joaquin Refining, Ergon and HollyFrontier as well as regional and national asphalt marketing companies that have little or no associated refining operations. The principal factors affecting competitiveness in asphalt markets are cost, supply reliability, consistency of product quality, transportation cost and capability to produce the range of high performance products necessary to meet the requirements of customers.
Retail
Our major retail competitors include Chevron, Murphy USA, Sunoco LP (Stripes® brand), Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (Circle K® brand and CST brand), Tesoro and various other independent operators. The principal competitive factors affecting our retail segment are location of stores, product price and quality, appearance and cleanliness of stores and brand identification. We expect to continue to face competition from large, integrated oil companies, as well as from other convenience stores that sell motor fuels. Additionally, national and regional grocery and dry goods retailers such as Wal-Mart, H-E-B, Kroger, Sam’s Club and Costco have motor fuel retail businesses. Many of these competitors are substantially larger than we are and because of their diversity, integration of operations and greater resources may be better able to withstand volatile market conditions and lower profitability because of competitive pricing and lower operating costs.


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Government Regulation and Legislation
Environmental Controls and Expenditures
Our operations are subject to extensive and frequently changing federal, state, regional and local laws, regulations and ordinances relating to the protection of the environment, including those governing emissions or discharges to the air, water, and land, the handling and disposal of solid and hazardous waste and the remediation of contamination. We believe our operations are generally in compliance with these requirements. Over the next several years, our operations will have to meet new requirements recently promulgated by the EPA and the states and jurisdictions in which we operate, as well as requirements which may be promulgated in the future.
Fuels. The federal Clean Air Act and its implementing regulations require, among other things, significant reductions in the sulfur content in gasoline and diesel. These regulations required most refineries to reduce the sulfur content in gasoline to 30 ppm and diesel to 15 ppm.
Gasoline and diesel produced at our Big Spring refinery currently meet the low sulfur gasoline and diesel standards. Gasoline produced at our Krotz Springs refinery currently meets the low sulfur gasoline standard. Our Krotz Springs refinery does not manufacture low sulfur diesel. In April 2014, the EPA promulgated new “Tier 3” motor vehicle emission and fuel standards. Under the final rule, gasoline must contain no more than 10 ppm sulfur on an annual average basis beginning on January 1, 2017; however, approved small volume refineries have until January 1, 2020 to meet the standard. The EPA has approved the Big Spring, Krotz Springs, Paramount and Bakersfield refineries as “small volume refineries” under the Tier 3 rule. We estimate that the capital investment associated with upgrades necessary to meet these new required sulfur levels, on a consolidated basis, will be less than approximately $32 million.
The EPA has issued renewable fuel standards mandates, requiring refiners to blend renewable fuels into the transportation fuels they produce and sell in the United States. To the extent refiners do not or cannot blend renewable fuels into the transportation fuels they produce in the quantities required to satisfy their obligations under the RFS-2 program, those refiners must purchase RINs to demonstrate compliance. Under the RFS-2 program, the volume of renewable fuels that obligated parties are required to blend into their transportation fuels increases annually over time until 2022. The Big Spring and Krotz Springs refineries first became subject to the RFS-2 program in 2013, and the Krotz Springs refinery received a hardship exemption for 2013. The California refineries did not process crude oil during 2013-2016 and as a result were not subject to the RFS-2 requirements. The Big Spring refinery is able to blend renewable fuel into some of its transportation fuels, generating RINs for compliance. In 2016, we were able to meet 79% of the Big Spring refinery’s required renewable volume obligation using RINs separated from renewable fuel blending during the period. The Krotz Springs refinery sells substantially all of its gasoline subject to the RFS-2 program via the Colonial pipeline, which does not accept ethanol-blended products. As a result, we must purchase RINs to satisfy the resulting compliance obligation. Distillates produced at the Krotz Springs refinery are not subject to the requirements of the RFS-2 program.
In February 2017, the Krotz Springs refinery received approval from the EPA for a small refinery exemption from the requirements of the renewable fuel standard for the 2016 calendar year. As a result, we expect to record a reduction in RINs expense of $29.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, based on a weighted average RINs price per gallon of $0.58.
On December 14, 2015, the EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register establishing the renewable fuel volume mandates for 2014, 2015 and 2016, and the biomass-based diesel mandate for 2017. On December 12, 2016, the EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register establishing the renewable fuel volume mandates for 2017, and the biomass-based diesel mandate for 2018. The volumes included in the EPA’s final rules increase each year, but are lower, with the exception of the volumes for biomass-based diesel, than the volumes required by the Clean Air Act. The EPA used its waiver authorities to lower the volumes, but its decision to do so in the December 14, 2015 final rule has been challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In addition, in the December 14, 2015 final rule, the EPA articulated a policy to incentivize additional investments in renewable fuel blending and distribution infrastructure by increasing the price of RINs.
Air Emissions. Conditions may develop that require additional capital expenditures at our refineries, product terminals and retail gasoline stations (operating and closed locations) for compliance with the Clean Air Act and other federal, state and local requirements, including recently promulgated regulations by the EPA. We cannot currently determine the amounts of such future expenditures.
In 2006, the Governor of California signed into law AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Regulations implementing the goals stated in the law, i.e., the reduction of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emission levels to 1990 levels through a market based “cap-and-trade” program, have been issued. It is expected that AB 32 mandated reductions will require purchase of cap-and-trade allowances or capital expenditures to increase efficiency of our operations and reduce GHG emissions from both stationary and non-stationary sources at our California refineries and possibly our other California terminals.


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In January 2015, California’s cap-and-trade program to limit emissions of GHG began to apply to California fuel suppliers whose annual emissions exceeded 25,000 metric tons of GHG in any year from 2011-2014. Under the program, covered entities must reduce the GHG emissions associated with their products or purchase GHG reduction credits.
In September 2015, California regulators re-adopted the state’s low-carbon fuel standard (“LCFS”) which requires fuel producers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels used in California by at least 10% by 2020. Under the program, fuel producers must reduce the carbon emissions associated with their products or purchase carbon reduction credits. The cost to purchase GHG reduction credits are passed through as a surcharge within the California market-place.
In September 2016, the Governor of California signed into law SB 32, requiring the State to reduce its GHG emissions to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The law does not specify how California will achieve these additional reductions, but it may require further reductions in GHG emissions from our California refineries and our other California terminals.
While it is possible that the federal government will adopt some form of federal mandatory cap-and-trade GHG emission reductions legislation in the future, the timing and specific requirements of any such legislation are uncertain at this time.
The EPA has begun adopting and implementing regulations to restrict emissions of GHGs under existing provisions of the Clean Air Act including rules that require a reduction in emissions of GHGs from motor vehicles and another rule that established GHG emissions thresholds that determine when certain stationary sources must obtain construction or operating permits under the Clean Air Act. Under these rules, facilities already subject to the Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V operating permitting process that increase their emissions of GHGs by 75,000 tons per year are required to limit GHG emissions through application of control technology, known as “Best Available Control Technology.”
In December 2010, the EPA reached a settlement agreement with numerous parties under which it agreed to promulgate New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from petroleum refineries. In September 2014, the EPA indicated that the Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review, proposed in May 2014 to address air toxics and volatile organic compounds from refineries, may make it unnecessary for EPA to regulate GHG emissions from petroleum refineries at this time. The final rule, published in December 2015, places additional emission control requirements and work practice standards on FCCUs, storage tanks, flares, coking units and other equipment at petroleum refineries.
In October 2006, we were contacted by Region 6 of the EPA and invited to enter into discussions under the EPA’s National Petroleum Refinery Initiative. This initiative addresses what the EPA deems to be the most significant Clean Air Act compliance concerns affecting the petroleum refining industry. According to the EPA, as of September 2016, approximately 95% of the nation’s refinery capacity is under lodged or entered “global” settlements. The Big Spring refinery is currently in negotiations with the EPA under the initiative. Based on prior settlements that the EPA has reached with other petroleum refineries under the initiative, we anticipate that we would be required to pay a civil penalty, install air pollution controls, and enhance certain operations in consideration for a broad release from liability. At this time, we expect the costs and controls or civil penalties to be comparable to other settling refineries. The civil penalty will likely exceed $100,000 and other costs that may be required under the settlement for pollution controls or environmentally beneficial projects could be significant.
The Krotz Springs and Bakersfield refineries were subject to “global settlements” with the EPA under the National Petroleum Refining Initiative, when we acquired them. In return for agreeing to the consent decree and implementing the reductions in emissions that it specifies, the refineries secured broad releases of liability that provide immunity from enforcement actions for alleged past non-compliance under each of the Clean Air Act programs covered by the consent decree. The Krotz Springs refinery has completed its obligations under the consent decree, other than ongoing reporting obligations that continue until the consent decree is terminated.
The Bakersfield refinery became subject to a global settlement with the EPA in 2001. Currently, the only continuing requirements are periodic audits of its Leak Detection and Repair program and enhanced sampling and reporting under the Benzene Waste Operations NESHAP. As part of the global settlement, the Bakersfield refinery was required to perform an evaluation of and has accepted subpart J applicability for two of its pre-1973 flares. The compliance date has been proposed as January 1, 2017, coincident with the compliance date in local flare Rule 4311, and the costs of any work related to this obligation are unknown at this time.
In August 2012, the EPA sent letters to the petroleum refining industry regarding the EPA’s recently issued enforcement alert entitled EPA Enforcement Targets Flaring Efficiency Violations. The Enforcement Alert identified new standards that refiners are required to meet for combustion efficiency of their flares. The EPA has entered into consent decrees with several refining companies pertaining to flare efficiency.
In May 2013, the EPA issued a partial compliance evaluation report to the Big Spring refinery related to an inspection of the refinery’s compliance with the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Program conducted in March 2013 and requested that we enter into a settlement agreement with the agency. Settlement discussions with the EPA are ongoing, and the costs of any such settlement or enforcement, if finalized, are not expected to be material.


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Remediation Efforts. We are currently remediating historical soil and groundwater contamination at our Big Spring refinery and terminals system. We spent $1.0 million in 2016 for remediation costs, and we estimate an additional $0.8 million will be spent during 2017. We are also remediating historical soil and groundwater contamination at the Abilene, Southlake and Wichita Falls, Texas, terminals that were in existence at the time they were acquired. As a result of the completed remediation efforts, we have submitted a request to TCEQ requesting closure of the wells at the Southlake terminal.
We are currently engaged in four separate remediation projects in the Los Angeles, California, area. Two projects focus on clean-up efforts in and around the Paramount refinery and the Lakewood Tank Farm. Our Paramount subsidiary shares the cost of both these remediation projects with a prior owner. We also have remediation projects at the Long Beach refinery and Pipeline 145 that existed at the time of our acquisitions. In 2016, a total of $1.5 million was spent for all four of these remediation projects of which our portion was $0.9 million. We estimate that an additional $2.2 million will be spent in 2017 with our portion being $1.5 million.
We have an environmental insurance policy related to our Long Beach refinery, which expires in 2017, that provides us coverage for both known and unknown conditions existing at the refinery at the time of our acquisition for off-site, third-party bodily injury and property damage claims. The policy limit on a per occurrence and aggregate basis is $15.0 million and has a per occurrence deductible of $0.5 million.
We are currently remediating historical soil and groundwater contamination at our Richmond Beach, Washington, asphalt terminal. We spent $0.2 million in 2016 for remediation costs and we estimate an additional $0.6 million will be spent during 2017.
In conjunction with our acquisition of the Bakersfield refinery in June 2010, we entered into an indemnification agreement with a prior owner for remediation expenses of conditions that existed at the Bakersfield refinery on the acquisition date. We were required to make indemnification claims to the prior owner by March 15, 2015. We spent $0.9 million in 2016 for these remediation costs, and we estimate that an additional $0.9 million will be spent during 2017.
In addition, a majority of our owned and leased convenience stores have underground gasoline and diesel storage tanks. Compliance with federal and state regulations that govern these storage tanks can be costly. The operation of underground storage tanks also poses various risks, including soil and groundwater contamination. We are currently investigating and remediating leaks from underground storage tanks at some of our convenience stores, and it is possible that we may identify more leaks or contamination in the future that could result in fines or civil liability for us. We have established reserves in our financial statements in respect of these matters to the extent that the associated costs are both probable and reasonably estimable.
Environmental Indemnity to Sunoco. In connection with the sale of the Amdel and White Oil crude oil pipelines, we entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Sunoco Pipeline, LP (“Sunoco”) pursuant to which we agreed to indemnify Sunoco against costs and liabilities incurred by Sunoco resulting from the existence of environmental conditions at the pipelines prior to March 1, 2006 or from violations of environmental laws with respect to the pipelines occurring prior to such date.
Occupational Safety and Health Regulation. We are subject to the requirements of OSHA and comparable state statutes that regulate the protection of the health and safety of workers. In addition, OSHA requires that we maintain information about hazardous materials used or produced in our operations and that we provide this information to employees, state and local governmental authorities, and local residents.
Other Government Regulation
The pipelines owned or operated by us and located in Texas are regulated by Department of Transportation rules and our intrastate pipelines are regulated by the Texas Railroad Commission. Within the Texas Railroad Commission, the Pipeline Safety Section of the Gas Services Division administers and enforces the federal and state requirements on our intrastate pipelines. All of our pipelines within Texas are permitted and certified by the Texas Railroad Commission’s Gas Services Division. The California State Fire Marshall’s Office enforces federal pipeline regulations for pipelines in the State of California.
The Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (“PMPA”) is a federal law that governs the relationship between a refiner and a distributor. Under the PMPA, the refiner permits a distributor to use a trademark in connection with the sale or distribution of motor fuel. We may not terminate or fail to renew branded distributor contracts unless certain enumerated preconditions or grounds for termination or non-renewal are met and we also comply with the prescribed notice requirements.


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Employees
As of December 31, 2016, we had approximately 2,830 employees. Approximately 640 employees worked in our refining and marketing segment, of which approximately 490 were employed at our refineries and approximately 150 were employed at our corporate offices in Dallas, Texas. Approximately 90 employees worked in our asphalt segment and approximately 2,100 employees worked in our retail segment.
Approximately 210 employees worked at our Big Spring refinery, approximately 135 of whom are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that expires in April 2019. None of the employees in our asphalt segment, retail segment or in our corporate offices are represented by a union. We consider our relations with our employees to be satisfactory.
Properties and Insurance
Our principal properties are described above under the captions “Refining and Marketing,” “Asphalt” and “Retail” in the “Business” section of Item 1. We believe that our properties and facilities are generally adequate for our operations and are maintained in a good state of repair in the ordinary course of business.
As of December 31, 2016, we were the lessee under a number of cancelable and non-cancelable leases for certain properties. For additional information on our leases, see Note 22 to the consolidated financial statements in Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Our property damage and business interruption insurance policies that cover substantially all of our properties have a combined limit of $950 million. Claims for physical damage at our refineries and asphalt terminals are subject to a $10 million deductible. The business interruption insurance policies that cover our Big Spring and Krotz Springs refineries have a $550 million limit and are subject to a 45-day waiting period. This discussion excludes our retail assets and the California renewable fuels facility, which have different coverages and deductibles.
We maintain third-party liability insurance policies that cover third-party claims with a $300 million limit, except for our California renewable fuels facility that has a $350 million limit, subject to a $5 million deductible.
Executive Officers of the Registrant
Our current executive officers and key employees (identified by an asterisk), their ages as of February 1, 2017, and their business experience during at least the past five years are set forth below.
Name
 
Age
 
Position
Alan Moret
 
62
 
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Shai Even
 
48
 
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Claire A. Hart
 
61
 
Senior Vice President
Michael Oster
 
45
 
Senior Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions
Jimmy C. Crosby
 
57
 
Senior Vice President of Refining
James Ranspot
 
46
 
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Scott Rowe
 
58
 
Senior Vice President of Asphalt Marketing
Jeff Brorman*
 
48
 
Vice President of Refining — Big Spring
Gregg Byers*
 
62
 
Vice President of Refining — Krotz Springs
Kyle McKeen*
 
53
 
President and Chief Executive Officer of Alon Brands
Josef Lipman*
 
71
 
President and Chief Executive Officer of SCS
Set forth below is a brief description of the business experience of each of the executive officers and key employees listed above.
Alan Moret was appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer in January 2017. Mr. Moret served as our Senior Vice President of Supply from August 2008 to January 2017. Mr. Moret served as our Senior Vice President of Asphalt Operations from August 2006 to August 2008, with responsibility for asphalt operations and marketing at our refineries and asphalt terminals. Prior to joining Alon, Mr. Moret was President of Paramount Petroleum Corporation from November 2001 to August 2006. Prior to joining Paramount Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Moret held various positions with Atlantic Richfield Company, most recently as President of ARCO Crude Trading, Inc. from 1998 to 2000 and as President of ARCO Seaway Pipeline Company from 1997 to 1998.
Shai Even has served as a Senior Vice President since August 2008 and as our Chief Financial Officer since December 2004. Mr. Even served as a Vice President from May 2005 to August 2008 and Treasurer from August 2003 until March 2007. Prior to joining Alon, Mr. Even served as Chief Financial Officer of DCL Technologies, Ltd. from 1996 to July


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2003 and prior to that worked for KPMG LLP from 1993 to 1996. Mr. Even has also been a director of Alon Refining Krotz Springs, Inc. since July 2008 and Alon Brands, Inc. since November 2008. Mr. Even was selected to serve as President, Chief Financial Officer and a director of the general partner of the Partnership because of his financial education and expertise, financial reporting background, public accounting experience, management experience and detailed knowledge of our operations. Mr. Even stepped down as a director of the general partner of the Partnership in November 2012.
Claire A. Hart has served as our Senior Vice President since January 2004 and served as our Chief Financial Officer and Vice President from August 2000 to January 2004. Prior to joining Alon, he held various positions in the Finance, Accounting and Operations departments of FINA for 13 years, serving as Treasurer from 1998 to August 2000 and as General Manager of Credit Operations from 1997 to 1998.
Michael Oster has served as our Senior Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions of Alon Energy since August 2008 and General Manager of Commercial Transactions of Alon Energy from January 2003 to August 2008. Prior to joining Alon Energy, Mr. Oster was a partner in the Israeli law firm, Yehuda Raveh and Co.
Jimmy C. Crosby has served as our Senior Vice President of Refining since November 2012. Mr. Crosby served as Vice President of Refining - Big Spring since January 2010, with responsibility for operations at the Big Spring Refinery. Prior to this, Mr. Crosby served as Vice President of Refining - California Refineries from March 2009 until January 2010, as Vice President of Refining and Supply from May 2007 to March 2009, as Vice President of Supply and Planning from May 2005 to May 2007 and as General Manager of Business Development and Planning from August 2000 to May 2005. Prior to joining Alon, Mr. Crosby worked with FINA from 1996 to August 2000 where he last held the position of Manager of Planning and Economics for the Big Spring refinery.
James Ranspot has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since March 2013. He served as Alon’s Chief Legal Counsel - Corporate from August 2010 until March 2013, and Assistant General Counsel from June 2006 to August 2010. Prior to joining Alon, Mr. Ranspot practiced corporate and securities law, with a focus on public and private merger and acquisition transactions and public securities offerings.
Scott Rowe has served as our Senior Vice President, Asphalt Marketing, since joining Alon in 2014. Mr. Rowe has over 30 years of experience in the petroleum refining and marketing business, with most of his experience specific to asphalt. Prior to joining Alon, Mr. Rowe was the President of The Hudson Companies, a privately held asphalt terminaling company headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island and founded Black Creek Terminal, LLC. Previously Mr. Rowe held several positions in the petroleum industry, including that of Vice President of Asphalt Marketing for CITGO and various management roles at Koch Industries. Mr. Rowe has an extensive background in business development and acquisitions.
Jeff Brorman has served as our Vice President of Refining - Big Spring since March 2013, with responsibility for operations at the Big Spring refinery. Prior to being appointed to this position, Mr. Brorman has served in the following positions at the Big Spring Refinery: Operations Manager from January 2009 to March 2013, Technical Manager from May 2005 to January 2009 including Refinery Rebuild Manager from February 2008 to October 2008, Capital Projects Manager from May 2004 to May 2005, Southside Operations Superintendent from August 2000 to May 2004. Prior to joining Alon, Mr. Brorman worked with Atofina Petrochemicals, Inc. from August 1996 to August 2000 as a mechanical engineer.
Gregg Byers has served as our Vice President of Refining - Krotz Springs since February 2012, with responsibility for operations at the Krotz Springs refinery. Mr. Byers rejoined Alon in September 2011 as Senior Director of Engineering Services. Mr. Byers has been employed in the refining industry for over 35 years, most recently with Sinclair Oil Corporation as Operations Manager of Sinclair’s Wyoming refinery from 2008 to 2011. Prior to this, Mr. Byers served as Engineering & Project Development Director at the Krotz Springs refinery under the Company’s ownership in 2008 and Valero Energy Corporation’s ownership from 2001 to 2008.
Kyle McKeen has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Alon Brands, Inc., our subsidiary that manages our retail operations, as well as having responsibility for our wholesale marketing operations, since May 2008. From 2005 to 2008, Mr. McKeen served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Carter Energy, an independent energy marketer supporting over 600 retailers by providing fuel supply, merchandising and marketing support, and consulting services. Prior to joining Carter Energy in 2005, Mr. McKeen was a member of the Board of Managers of Alon Brands, Inc. from September 2002 to 2005 and held numerous positions of increasing responsibilities with Alon Energy, including Vice President of Marketing.
Josef Lipman has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Convenience Stores, LLC, or SCS, our subsidiary conducting our retail operations since July 2001. From 1997 to July 2001, Mr. Lipman served as General Manager of Cosmos, a chain of supermarkets in Israel owned by Super-Sol Ltd., where he was responsible for marketing and store operations.


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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS.
The occurrence of any of the events described in this Risk Factors section and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other of our filings with the SEC could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In evaluating an investment in any of our securities, you should consider carefully, among other things, the factors and the specific risks set forth below. This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. See “Forward-Looking Statements” in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Item 7 for a discussion of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected.
Risks Related to the Mergers
The ability of Delek and Alon to complete the Mergers is subject to a number of conditions, including the absence of antitrust or other challenges from governmental entities, which could delay or cause us to abandon the Mergers.
In connection with Delek’s acquisition of approximately 48% of Alon’s common stock in May 2015, Notification and Report Forms required by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (“HSR Act”) were filed with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of the applicable HSR Act waiting period to the parties in May 2015 and renewed this antitrust approval in May 2016. However, this antitrust approval expires on May 2, 2017. If the Alon Merger is not completed prior to May 2, 2017, an additional antitrust filing with the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission will be required. If an additional antitrust filing is required, we cannot assure that this antitrust approval will be granted on terms and conditions acceptable to Delek and Alon, if at all. In addition, we cannot assure you that a challenge to the Mergers will not be made or that, if a challenge is made, it will not succeed.
Regardless of whether an additional antitrust filing is required upon expiration of the existing antitrust approval, completion of the Mergers is subject to the fulfillment of a number of other conditions which make the completion and timing of the transaction uncertain. These conditions include, among others, conditions that the New Delek share issuance proposal be approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast by holders of shares of Delek common stock present in person or represented by proxy and entitled to vote at the Delek special meeting; that the Alon merger proposal be approved by the affirmative vote of the holders of the majority of the outstanding shares of Alon common stock and the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the issued and outstanding shares of Alon common stock beneficially owned by the holders of Alon common stock other than the Delek, HoldCo, Delek Merger Sub, Alon Merger Sub and their affiliates; the registration statement on Form S-4 registering the shares of New Delek common stock to be issued in connection with the transaction, be declared effective by the SEC and no stop order suspending effectiveness of the registration be in effect; the NYSE approve the listing of such shares for trading on the NYSE; and no order, decree or injunction of any court or agency of competent jurisdiction or law be in effect that enjoins or otherwise prohibits the Mergers. These conditions may not be fulfilled, and if this occurs, the Mergers may not be completed. In addition, if the Mergers are not completed by October 2, 2017, either Delek or Alon may choose not to proceed with the Mergers, and the parties can mutually decide to terminate the merger agreement at any time prior to the consummation of the Mergers, before or after stockholder approval. In addition, Delek or Alon may elect to terminate the merger agreement in certain other circumstances.
Any delay in completing the Mergers may reduce or eliminate the expected benefits from the transaction.
The Mergers are subject to a number of conditions beyond Delek’s and Alon’s control that may prevent, delay or otherwise materially adversely affect its completion. Delek and Alon cannot predict whether and when these other conditions will be satisfied. There can be no assurance that either Delek or Alon or both parties will waive any condition to closing that is not satisfied. Furthermore, the requirements for obtaining the required clearances and approvals and the time required to satisfy any other conditions to the closing could delay the completion of the Mergers for a significant period of time or prevent the transaction from occurring. Any delay in completing the Mergers could cause Delek not to realize some or all of the benefits that it expects to achieve if the Mergers are successfully completed within the expected timeframe.
Failure to complete the Mergers could negatively impact the stock prices and the future business and financial results of Delek and Alon.
If the Mergers are not completed, the ongoing businesses of Delek or Alon may be adversely affected and Delek and Alon will be subject to several risks, including the following:
being required, under certain circumstances, to pay a termination fee of $20 million, in the case of a payment by Delek to Alon, and $15 million, in the case of a payment by Alon to Delek;
having to pay certain costs relating to the proposed Merger, such as legal, accounting, financial advisor, filing, printing and mailing fees; and


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the focus of management of each of the companies on the Mergers instead of on pursuing other opportunities that may be beneficial to each company.
If the Mergers do not occur, Delek and Alon may incur these costs without realizing any of the benefits of the Mergers being completed. In addition, if the Mergers are not completed, Delek and/or Alon may experience negative reactions from the financial markets and from their respective customers and employees. Delek and/or Alon could also be subject to litigation related to any failure to complete the Mergers or to enforcement proceedings commenced against Delek or Alon to perform their respective obligations under the merger agreement. If the Mergers are not completed, Delek and Alon cannot assure their respective stockholders that these risks will not materialize or will not materially affect the business, financial results and stock prices of Alon or Delek.
The Merger Agreement contains provisions that could discourage a potential competing acquiror from making a competing acquisition proposal.
The Merger Agreement contains “no shop” provisions that, subject to limited exceptions, restrict the ability of Alon to initiate, solicit, knowingly encourage or facilitate competing third-party proposals of offers to acquire all or a significant part of Alon. Further, even if the board of directors of Alon withdraws or modifies its recommendation of the Alon merger proposal, it will still be required to submit the matter to a vote of the Alon stockholders at the Alon special meeting unless the merger agreement is terminated in accordance with its terms. In addition, Delek generally has an opportunity to offer to modify the terms of the Alon Merger and the merger agreement in response to any competing acquisition proposals (as defined in the merger agreement) that may be made before the board of directors of Alon may withdraw or modify its recommendation. In some circumstances, upon termination of the merger agreement, one of the parties may be required to pay a termination fee to the other party. Delek is subject to similar “no shop provisions” with respect to competing third-party proposals to acquire all or a significant part of Delek.
These provisions could discourage a potential competing acquiror from considering or proposing an acquisition, even if it were prepared to pay consideration with a higher per share cash or market value than that market value proposed to be received or realized in the Mergers, or might result in a potential competing acquiror proposing to pay a lower price than it might otherwise have proposed to pay because of the added expense of the termination fee that may become payable in certain circumstances.
The Mergers will involve substantial costs.
Delek and Alon have incurred and expect to continue to incur substantial costs and expenses relating directly to the Mergers, including fees and expenses payable to financial advisors, other professional fees and expenses, insurance premium costs, fees and costs relating to integration planning activities, regulatory filings and notices, SEC filing fees, printing and mailing costs and other transaction-related costs, fees and expenses. If the Mergers are not completed, Delek and Alon will have incurred substantial expenses and devoted substantial management time for which no ultimate benefit will have been received by either company.
The pendency of the Mergers and related uncertainty could adversely affect the relationships of Delek and Alon with employees, customers, commercial partners, financing parties and other third parties.
Uncertainty about the effect of the Mergers on employees, customers, commercial partners and other third parties may have an adverse effect on Alon and Delek. These uncertainties may cause customers, suppliers, commercial partners, financing parties and others that deal with Alon or Delek to seek to change, delay or defer decisions with respect to existing or future business relationships. Retention, hiring and motivation of certain current and prospective employees by Alon or Delek may be challenging while the Mergers are pending, as they may experience uncertainty about their future roles with Alon or Delek. If key employees, customers, suppliers, commercial partners, financing parties and other third parties terminate or change, or seek to terminate or change, their existing relationships with Alon or Delek, Alon’s business or Delek’s business, and the combined company’s business as a result, could be harmed.
The consummation of the Alon Merger may permit counterparties to other agreements to terminate those agreements.
Alon is party to certain agreements that give the counterparties to such agreements, including investors and commercial partners, certain rights, including notice, consent and other rights in connection with “change of control” transactions or otherwise, that may give rise to a default by Alon under the agreements or a right by the counterparty to terminate the agreement. Under certain of these agreements, the Alon Merger may constitute a “change of control” or otherwise give rise to consent or termination rights and, therefore, the counterparties may assert their rights in connection with the Alon Merger and claim a default of the agreement by Alon and/or terminate the agreements, which may adversely affect business and operations of Delek and the value of the New Delek common stock following the Mergers.


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Legal proceedings against Delek or Alon could result in an injunction preventing the completion of the Mergers or a judgment resulting in the payment of damages.
If any litigation challenging the Mergers are brought and not resolved, the lawsuits could prevent or delay completion of the Mergers and result in substantial costs to Delek and Alon, including any costs associated with the indemnification of its respective directors and officers. One condition to closing the Mergers is that no order, decree or injunction of any court or agency of competent jurisdiction be in effect that enjoins, prohibits or makes illegal consummation of any of the transactions, and no legal proceeding by any governmental authority with respect to the Mergers or other transactions be pending that seeks to restrain, enjoin, prohibit or delay consummation of the Mergers or imposes any material restrictions on the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement. If any lawsuit is filed challenging the Mergers and is successful in obtaining an injunction preventing the parties to the merger agreement from consummating the Mergers, such injunction may delay or prevent the Mergers. As such, if plaintiffs are successful in obtaining an injunction prohibiting the consummation of the Mergers or the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement, then such injunction may prevent the Mergers from being completed, or from being completed within the expected timeframe.
The defense or settlement of any legal proceedings or future litigation could be time-consuming and expensive, divert the attention of Delek management and/or Alon management away from their regular business, and, if any one of these legal proceedings or any future litigation is adversely resolved against either Delek or Alon, could have a material adverse effect on their respective financial condition, results of operations or liquidity of Delek or the combined company if resolved after the Mergers are completed.
Until the completion of the Mergers or the termination of the Merger Agreement in accordance with its terms, in consideration of the agreements made by the parties in the Merger Agreement, Delek and Alon are each prohibited from entering into certain transactions and taking certain actions that might otherwise be beneficial to Delek or Alon and their respective stockholders.
Until the Merger is completed, the Merger Agreement restricts each of Delek and Alon from taking specified actions without the consent of the other party, and requires each of Delek and Alon to operate in the ordinary and usual course of business consistent with past practice. Alon is subject to a number of customary interim operating covenants relating to, among other things, its capital expenditures, incurrence of indebtedness, entry into or amendment of certain types of agreements, equity grants and changes in director, employee, independent contractor and consultant compensation. These restrictions may prevent Delek and/or Alon from making appropriate changes to their respective businesses or pursuing attractive business opportunities that may arise prior to the completion of the Mergers.
Risks Related to the Business
The price volatility of crude oil, other feedstocks, refined products and fuel and utility services may have a material adverse effect on our earnings, profitability and cash flows.
Our refining and marketing earnings, profitability and cash flows from operations depend primarily on the margin between refined product prices and the prices for crude oil and other feedstocks. When the margin between refined product prices and crude oil and other feedstock prices contracts, as has been the case in recent periods and may be the case in the future, our results of operations and cash flows are negatively affected. Refining margins historically have been volatile, and are likely to continue to be volatile as a result of a variety of factors including fluctuations in the prices of crude oil, other feedstocks and refined products. The direction and timing of changes in prices for crude oil and refined products do not necessarily correlate with one another, and it is the relationship between such prices that has the greatest impact on our results of operations and cash flows.
Prices of crude oil, other feedstocks and refined products, and the relationships between such prices and prices for refined products, depend on numerous factors beyond our control, including the supply of and demand for crude oil, other feedstocks, gasoline, diesel, asphalt and other refined products and the relative magnitude and timing of such changes. Supply and demand are affected by, among other things:
changes in general economic conditions;
changes in the underlying demand for our products;
the availability, costs and price volatility of crude oil, other refinery feedstocks and refined products;
worldwide political conditions, particularly in significant oil producing regions such as the Middle East, West Africa and Latin America;
the level of foreign and domestic production of crude oil and refined products and the volume of crude oil, feedstock and refined products imported in the United States;


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refinery utilization rates;
infrastructure limitations;
the ability of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”) to affect oil prices and maintain production controls;
the actions of customers and competitors;
disruptions due to equipment interruption, pipeline disruptions or failure at our or third-party facilities and other factors affecting transportation infrastructure;
the effects of transactions involving forward contracts and derivative instruments and general commodities speculation;
the execution of planned capital projects, including the build out of additional pipeline infrastructure;
the effects and costs of compliance with current and future federal, state and local environmental, economic, safety and other laws, policies and regulations;
operating hazards, natural disasters, casualty losses and other matters beyond our control;
the impact of global economic conditions on our business; and
the development and marketing of alternative and competing fuels.
Although we continually analyze refinery operating margins at each of our refineries and seek to adjust throughput volumes and product slates to optimize our operating results based on market conditions, there are inherent limitations on our ability to offset the effects of adverse market conditions. For example, reductions in throughput volumes in a negative operating margin environment may reduce operating losses, but it would not eliminate them because we would still be incurring fixed costs and certain levels of variable costs.
The nature of our business has historically required us to maintain substantial quantities of crude oil and refined product inventories. Because crude oil and refined products are commodities, we have no control over the changing market value of these inventories. Our inventory is valued at the lower of cost or market value under the last-in, first-out (“LIFO”) inventory valuation methodology. As a result, if the market value of our inventory were to decline to an amount less than our LIFO cost, we would record a write-down of inventory and a non-cash charge to cost of sales. Our investment in inventory is affected by the general level of crude oil prices, and significant increases in crude oil prices could result in substantial working capital requirements to maintain inventory volumes. Changes in the value of our inventory or increases in the amount of our working capital necessary to maintain our inventory volumes could have a material adverse effect on our earnings, profitability and cash flows.
In addition, the volatility in costs of natural gas, electricity and other utility services used by our refineries and other operations affect our operating costs. Utility prices have been, and will continue to be, affected by factors outside our control, such as supply and demand for utility services in both local and regional markets. Future increases in utility prices may have a negative effect on our earnings, profitability and cash flows.
Our profitability depends, in part, on the differential between the cost of crude oils processed by our refineries and those processed by our competitors. Changes in this differential could negatively affect our profitability.
We select grades of crude oil to process based, in part, on each individual refinery’s configuration and operating units. Our profitability is partially derived from our ability to purchase and process crude oil feedstocks that are less expensive than those processed by competing refiners. We quantify this differential in crude prices by comparing our crude acquisition price with benchmark crude oil grades such as WTI. Crude oil differentials can vary significantly depending on overall economic conditions, trends and conditions within the markets for crude oil and refined products, and infrastructure constraints. An adverse change in these differentials affecting one or more of our refineries could have a negative impact on our earnings.
If the price of crude oil increases significantly, it could reduce our margin on our fixed-price asphalt supply contracts.
We enter into fixed-price asphalt supply contracts pursuant to which we agree to deliver asphalt to customers at future dates. We set the pricing terms in these agreements based, in part, upon the price of crude oil at the time we enter into each contract. If the price of crude oil increases from the time we enter into the contract to the time we produce the asphalt, our margins from these sales could be adversely affected.


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Midland crude discounts, compared to WTI-Cushing, could contract, which would adversely affect our profitability.
Over the last three years, pipeline capacity additions and expansions have significantly increased takeaway capacity from the Permian Basin. Meanwhile, the lower crude price environment in 2015 and 2016 has slowed production growth in the region. For these reasons, takeaway capacity from the Permian Basin is adequate for current oil production. As such, we may not be able to purchase WTS and WTI at discounted prices to Cushing as we have historically and any discount to Cushing may decrease, which could adversely impact our earnings and profitability.
Commodity derivative contracts may limit our potential gains, exacerbate potential losses, result in period-to-period earnings volatility and involve other risks.
We may enter into commodity derivatives contracts intended to mitigate our crack spread risk. We enter into these arrangements with the intent to secure a minimum fixed cash flow stream on the volume of products hedged during the hedge term. However, our hedging arrangements may fail to fully achieve these objectives for a variety of reasons, including our failure to have adequate hedging contracts, if any, in effect at any particular time and the failure of our hedging arrangements to produce the anticipated results. We may not be able to procure adequate hedging arrangements due to a variety of factors. Moreover, while intended to reduce the adverse effects of fluctuations in crude oil and refined product prices, such transactions may limit our ability to benefit from favorable changes in margins. In addition, our hedging activities may expose us to the risk of financial loss in certain circumstances, including instances in which:
the volumes of our actual use of crude oil or production of the applicable refined products is less than the volumes subject to the hedging arrangement;
accidents, interruptions in feedstock transportation, inclement weather or other events cause unscheduled shutdowns or otherwise adversely affect our refineries, or those of our suppliers or customers;
the counterparties to our futures contracts fail to perform under the contracts; or
a sudden, unexpected event materially impacts the commodity or crack spread subject to the hedging arrangement.
As a result, the effectiveness of our risk mitigation strategy could have a material adverse impact on our financial results. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.”
Our operating results are seasonal and generally lower in the first and fourth quarters of the year.
Demand for gasoline and asphalt products is generally higher during summer months than during winter months due to seasonal increases in highway traffic and road construction work. Seasonal fluctuations in highway traffic also affect motor fuels and merchandise sales in our retail stores. As a result, our operating results for the first and fourth calendar quarters are generally lower than those for the second and third calendar quarters. This seasonality is most pronounced in our asphalt business. The effects of seasonal demand for gasoline are partially offset by seasonality in demand for diesel, which in our region is generally higher in winter months as east-west trucking traffic moves south to avoid winter conditions on northern routes.
Competition in the refining and marketing industry is intense, and an increase in competition in the markets in which we sell our products could adversely affect our earnings and profitability.
We compete with a broad range of companies in our refining and marketing operations. Many of these competitors are integrated, multinational oil companies that are substantially larger than we are. Because of their diversity, integration of operations, larger capitalization, larger and more complex refineries and greater resources, these companies may be better able to withstand disruptions in operations and volatile market conditions, to offer more competitive pricing during times of intense price fluctuations and to obtain crude oil in times of shortage.
We are not engaged in the exploration and production business and therefore do not produce any of our crude oil or other feedstocks. Certain of our competitors, however, obtain a portion of their feedstocks from company-owned production. Competitors that have their own crude production are at times able to offset losses from refining operations with profits from oil producing operations, and may be better positioned to withstand periods of depressed refining margins or feedstock shortages. In addition, we compete with other industries, such as wind, solar and hydropower that provide alternative means to satisfy the energy and fuel requirements of our industrial, commercial and individual customers. If we are unable to compete effectively with these competitors, both within and outside our industry, there could be a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.


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Competition in the asphalt industry is intense, and an increase in competition in the markets in which we sell our asphalt products could adversely affect our earnings and profitability.
Our asphalt business competes with other refiners and with regional and national asphalt marketing companies. Many of these competitors are larger, more diverse companies with greater resources, providing them advantages in obtaining crude oil and other blendstocks and in competing through bidding processes for asphalt supply contracts.
We compete in large part on our ability to deliver specialized asphalt products which we produce under proprietary technology licenses. Recently, demand for these specialized products has increased due to new specification requirements by state and federal governments. If we were to lose our rights under our technology licenses, or if competing technologies for specialized products are developed by our competitors, our profitability could be adversely affected.
Competition in the retail industry is intense, and an increase in competition in the markets in which our retail businesses operate could adversely affect our earnings and profitability.
Our retail operations compete with numerous convenience stores, gasoline service stations, supermarket chains, drug stores, fast food operations and other retail outlets. Increasingly, national high-volume grocery and dry-goods retailers, such as Wal-Mart, are entering the gasoline retailing business. Many of these competitors are substantially larger than we are. Because of their diversity, integration of operations and greater resources, these companies may be better able to withstand volatile market conditions or levels of low or no profitability. In addition, these retailers may use promotional pricing or discounts, both at the pump and in the store, to encourage in-store merchandise sales. These activities by our competitors could adversely affect our profit margins. Additionally, our convenience stores could lose market share, relating to both gasoline and merchandise, to these and other retailers, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and cash flows. Our convenience stores compete in large part based on their ability to offer convenience to customers. Consequently, changes in traffic patterns and the type, number and location of competing stores could result in the loss of customers and reduced sales and profitability at affected stores.
The wholesale motor fuel distribution industry is characterized by intense competition and fragmentation, and our failure to effectively compete could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
The market for distribution of wholesale motor fuel is highly competitive and fragmented. We have numerous competitors, some of which have significantly greater resources and name recognition than us. We rely on our ability to provide reliable supply and value-added services and to control our operating costs in order to maintain our margins and competitive position. If we were to fail to maintain the quality of our services, customers could choose alternative distribution sources and our competitive position could be adversely affected. Furthermore, we compete against major oil companies with integrated marketing businesses. Through their greater resources and access to crude oil, these companies may be better able to compete on the basis of price or offer lower wholesale and retail pricing which could negatively affect our fuel margins. The occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition or make us more vulnerable to adverse economic conditions.
Our level of indebtedness could have significant effects on our business, financial condition and results of operations and cash flows and, consequently, important consequences to your investment in our securities, such as:
we may be limited in our ability to obtain additional financing to fund our working capital needs, capital expenditures and debt service requirements or our other operational needs;
we may be limited in our ability to use operating cash flow in other areas of our business because we must dedicate a portion of these funds to make principal and interest payments on our debt;
we may be at a competitive disadvantage compared to competitors with less leverage since we may be less capable of responding to adverse economic and industry conditions; and
we may not have sufficient flexibility to react to adverse changes in the economy, our business or the industries in which we operate.
Our ability to service our indebtedness will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future.
Our ability to make payments on our indebtedness will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future. Our ability to generate cash is subject to general economic and market conditions and financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other factors that are beyond our control. We cannot assure you that our business will generate sufficient cash to fund our working capital requirements, capital expenditures, debt service and other liquidity needs, which could result in our inability to comply with financial and other covenants contained in our debt agreements, our being unable to repay or pay interest on our


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indebtedness and our inability to fund our other liquidity needs. If we are unable to service our debt obligations, fund our other liquidity needs and maintain compliance with our financial and other covenants, we could be forced to curtail our operations, our creditors could accelerate our indebtedness and exercise other remedies and we could be required to pursue one or more alternative strategies, such as selling assets or refinancing or restructuring our indebtedness. However, we cannot assure you that any such alternatives would be feasible or prove adequate.
Changes in our credit profile could affect our relationships with our suppliers, which could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and our ability to operate our refineries at full capacity.
Changes in our credit profile could affect the way crude oil and other suppliers view our ability to make payments and induce them to shorten the payment terms for our purchases or require us to post security prior to payment. Due to the large dollar amounts and volume of our crude oil and other feedstock purchases, any imposition by our suppliers of more burdensome payment terms on us may have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and our ability to make payments to our suppliers. This, in turn, could cause us to be unable to operate our refinery at full capacity. A failure to operate our refinery at full capacity could adversely affect our profitability and cash flows. Alternatively, these more burdensome payment terms may require us to incur additional indebtedness under our revolving credit facility, which could increase our interest expense and adversely affect our cash flows.
Covenants in our credit agreements could limit our ability to undertake certain types of transactions and adversely affect our liquidity.
Our credit agreements contain negative and financial covenants and events of default that may limit our financial flexibility and ability to undertake certain types of transactions. For example, we are subject to negative covenants that restrict our activities, including changes in control of Alon or certain of our subsidiaries, restrictions on creating liens, engaging in mergers, consolidations and sales of assets, incurring additional indebtedness, entering into certain lease obligations, making certain capital expenditures, and making certain dividend, debt and other restricted payments. Should we desire to undertake a transaction that is prohibited or limited by our credit agreements, we will need to obtain the consent of our lenders or refinance our credit facilities. Such consents or refinancings may not be possible or may not be available on commercially acceptable terms, or at all.
A recession and credit crisis and related turmoil in the global financial system could have an adverse impact on our business, results of operations and cash flows.
Our business and profitability are affected by the overall level of demand for our products, which in turn is affected by factors such as overall levels of economic activity and business and consumer confidence and spending. Declines in global economic activity and consumer and business confidence and spending have in the past, and may in the future, significantly reduce the level of demand for our products, including by consumers and our wholesale customers. In the past, severe reductions in the availability and increases in the cost of credit have adversely affected our ability to fund our operations and operate our refineries at full capacity, and have adversely affected our operating margins. Together, these factors have had and may in the future have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We depend upon our subsidiaries for cash to meet our obligations and pay any dividends, and we do not own 100% of the stock of our operating subsidiaries.
We are a holding company. Our subsidiaries conduct all of our operations and own substantially all of our assets. Consequently, our cash flow and our ability to meet our obligations or pay dividends to our stockholders depend upon the cash flow of our subsidiaries and the payment of funds by our subsidiaries to us in the form of dividends, tax sharing payments or otherwise. Our subsidiaries’ ability to make any payments will depend on their earnings, cash flows, the terms of their indebtedness, tax considerations and legal restrictions. We own 81.6% of the Partnership’s common units and Alon USA Partners GP, LLC, our wholly-owned subsidiary, owns 100% of the non-economic general partner interests of the Partnership. To the extent the Partnership is unable to make distributions to its partners, we may be unable to pay any dividends.
We may have capital needs for which our internally generated cash flows and other sources of liquidity may not be adequate.
If we cannot generate sufficient cash flows or otherwise secure sufficient liquidity to support our short-term and long-term capital requirements, we may not be able to meet our payment obligations, comply with certain deadlines related to environmental laws, regulations and standards or pursue our business strategies, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or liquidity. We have substantial short-term working capital needs and may have substantial long-term capital needs. Our short-term working capital needs are primarily related to financing our inventory and accounts receivable. Our long-term needs for cash include those to support ongoing capital expenditures for equipment maintenance and


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upgrades during turnarounds at our refineries and for costs of catalyst replacement and to complete our routine and normally scheduled maintenance, regulatory and security expenditures. In addition, from time to time, we are required to spend significant amounts for repairs when one or more processing units experience temporary shutdowns. We continue to utilize significant capital to upgrade equipment, improve facilities, and reduce operational, safety and environmental risks. We may incur substantial compliance costs in connection with any new or amended environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. Our liquidity will affect our ability to satisfy any of these needs.
The costs, scope, timelines and benefits of our refining projects may deviate significantly from our original plans and estimates.
We may experience unanticipated increases in the cost, scope and completion time for our improvement, maintenance and repair projects at our refineries. Refinery projects are generally initiated to increase the yields of higher-value products, increase our ability to process a variety of crude oils, increase production capacity, meet new regulatory requirements or maintain the safe and reliable operations of our existing assets. Equipment that we require to complete these projects may be unavailable to us at expected costs or within expected time periods. Additionally, employee or contractor labor expense may exceed our expectations. Due to these or other factors beyond our control, we may be unable to complete these projects within anticipated cost parameters and timelines. In addition, the benefits we realize from completed projects may take longer to achieve and/or be less than we anticipated. Our inability to complete and/or realize the benefits of refinery projects in a cost-efficient and timely manner could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our arrangements with J. Aron expose us to J. Aron related credit and performance risk.
We have supply and offtake agreements with J. Aron, who is one of our largest suppliers of crude oil and one of our largest customers of refined products from our refineries. In the future, we could purchase up to 100% of our supply needs at each of our refineries from J. Aron pursuant to these agreements. Additionally, we are obligated to repurchase all consigned inventories and certain other inventories upon termination or expiration of these agreements, which may be terminated by J. Aron as early as May 2018. Relying on J. Aron’s ability to honor its fuel requirements purchase obligations exposes us to J. Aron’s credit and business risks. An adverse change in J. Aron’s business, results of operations, liquidity or financial condition could adversely affect its ability to perform its obligations, which could consequently have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations or liquidity. In addition, we may be required to use substantial capital to repurchase inventories from J. Aron upon termination or expiration of these agreements, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.
We conduct our convenience store business under a license agreement with 7-Eleven, and the loss of this license could adversely affect the results of operations of our retail segment.
Our convenience store operations are primarily conducted under the 7-Eleven name pursuant to a license agreement between 7-Eleven, Inc. and us. 7-Eleven may terminate the agreement if we default on our obligations under the agreement. This termination would result in our convenience stores losing the use of the 7-Eleven brand name, the accompanying 7-Eleven advertising and certain other brand names and products used exclusively by 7-Eleven. Termination of the license agreement could have a material adverse effect on our retail operations.
We may incur significant costs to comply with new or changing environmental laws and regulations.
Our operations are subject to extensive regulatory controls on air emissions, water discharges, waste management and the clean-up of contamination that can require costly compliance measures. If we fail to comply with environmental requirements, we may be subject to administrative, civil and criminal proceedings by state and federal authorities, as well as civil proceedings by non-governmental environmental groups and other individuals, which could result in substantial fines and penalties against us as well as governmental or court orders that could alter, limit or suspend our operations.
In October 2006, we were contacted by Region 6 of the EPA and invited to enter into discussions under the EPA’s National Petroleum Refinery Initiative. This initiative addresses what the EPA deems to be the most significant Clean Air Act compliance concerns affecting the petroleum refining industry. According to the EPA, as of September 2016, approximately 95% of the nation’s refinery capacity is under lodged or entered “global” settlements. The Big Spring refinery is currently in negotiations with the EPA under the initiative. Based on prior settlements that the EPA has reached with other petroleum refineries under the initiative, we anticipate that we would be required to pay a civil penalty, install air pollution controls, and enhance certain operations in consideration for a broad release from liability. At this time, we expect the costs of controls or civil penalties to be comparable to other settling refiners. The civil penalty will likely exceed $100,000 and other costs that may be required under the settlement for pollution controls or environmentally beneficial projects could be significant and collectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, new laws and regulations, new interpretations of existing laws and regulations, increased governmental enforcement or other developments could require us to make additional unforeseen expenditures. Many of these laws and


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regulations are becoming increasingly stringent, and the cost of compliance with these requirements can be expected to increase over time. For example, in March 2014, the EPA announced final new “Tier 3” motor vehicle emission and fuel standards. Under the final rule, gasoline must contain no more than 10 ppm sulfur on an annual average basis beginning as early as January 1, 2017; however, approved small volume refineries have until January 1, 2020 to meet the standard. The EPA has approved the Big Spring, Krotz Springs, Paramount, and Bakersfield refineries as “small volume refineries” under the Tier 3 rule. We estimate that the capital investment associated with upgrades necessary to meet these new required sulfur levels will be less than approximately $32 million. Also, the Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review, which was published in the Federal Register on December 1, 2015, places additional emission control requirements and work practice standards on FCCUs, storage tanks, flares, coking units and other equipment at petroleum refineries. We are currently assessing the costs of compliance with the EPA’s final rule. We are not able to predict the impact of other new or changed laws or regulations or changes in the ways that such laws or regulations are administered, interpreted or enforced but we may incur increased operating costs and capital expenditures to comply, which could be material. To the extent that the costs associated with meeting any of these requirements are substantial and not adequately provided for, our results of operations and cash flows could suffer.
Climate change legislation or regulations restricting emissions of greenhouse gases could result in increased operating costs and a reduced demand for our refining services.
In December 2009 the EPA determined that emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other GHGs present an endangerment to public health and the environment because emissions of such gases are, according to the EPA, contributing to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere and other climatic changes. Based on its findings, the EPA has adopted regulations to restrict emissions of GHGs under existing provisions of the Clean Air Act, such as rules that require a reduction in GHG emissions from motor vehicles. Another rule requires facilities already subject to the Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V operating permitting programs that increase their GHG emissions by 75,000 tons per year to limit GHG emissions through control technology, known as “Best Available Control Technology.” The EPA has also adopted rules that require specified large GHG emission sources in the United States, including petroleum refineries, to monitor and report GHG emissions on an annual basis.
In addition, the U.S. Congress has from time to time considered adopting legislation to reduce emissions of GHGs, and a number of the states have already taken legal measures to reduce emissions of GHGs primarily through the planned development of GHG emission inventories and/or regional GHG cap and trade programs. The adoption of legislation or regulatory programs to reduce emissions of GHGs could require us to incur increased operating costs, such as costs to purchase and operate emissions control systems, to acquire emissions allowances or comply with new regulatory or monitoring and reporting requirements, or result in reduced demand for refined petroleum products we produce. One or more of these developments could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Finally, it should be noted that some scientists have concluded that increasing concentrations of GHGs in the Earth’s atmosphere may produce climate changes that have significant physical effects, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, droughts and floods and other climatic events; if any such effects were to occur, they could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
We may incur significant costs and liabilities with respect to environmental lawsuits and proceedings and any investigation and remediation of existing and future environmental conditions.
We are currently investigating and remediating, in some cases pursuant to government orders, soil and groundwater contamination at our refineries, terminals and convenience stores. We anticipate spending $6.6 million in investigation and remediation expenses over the next 15 years in connection with historical soil and groundwater contamination at our Big Spring refinery and the Abilene, Southlake and Wichita Falls terminals, which we formerly owned and operated. We anticipate spending an additional $35.6 million in investigation and remediation expenses in connection with our California refineries and terminals over the next 15 years. There can be no assurances, however, that we will not have to spend more than these anticipated amounts. Our handling and storage of petroleum and hazardous substances may lead to additional contamination at our facilities and facilities to which we send or sent wastes or by-products for treatment or disposal, in which case we may be subject to additional cleanup costs, governmental penalties and third-party suits alleging personal injury and property damage. Joint and several strict liability may be incurred in connection with such releases of petroleum hydrocarbons, hazardous substances and/or wastes. Although we have sold two of our pipelines pursuant to a transaction with Sunoco, we have agreed, subject to certain limitations, to indemnify Sunoco for costs and liabilities that may be incurred by Sunoco as a result of environmental conditions existing at the time of the sale. If we are forced to incur costs or pay liabilities in connection with such releases and contamination or any associated third-party proceedings and investigations, or in connection with any of our indemnification obligations to Sunoco, such costs and payments could be significant and could adversely affect our business, results of operations and cash flows.


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We could incur substantial costs or disruptions in our business if we cannot obtain or maintain necessary permits and authorizations or otherwise comply with worker health and safety, environmental and other laws and regulations.
From time to time, we have been sued or investigated for alleged violations of worker health and safety, environmental and other laws. If a lawsuit or enforcement proceeding were commenced or resolved against us, we could incur significant costs and liabilities. In addition, our operations require numerous permits and authorizations under environmental and various other laws and regulations. These authorizations and permits are subject to revocation, renewal or modification and can require operational changes to limit impacts or potential impacts on the environment and/or worker health and safety. A violation of authorization or permit conditions or of other legal or regulatory requirements could result in substantial fines, criminal sanctions, permit revocations, injunctions, and/or facility shutdowns. In addition, major modifications of our operations could require modifications to our existing permits or upgrades to our existing pollution control equipment. Any or all of these matters could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or cash flows.
The renewable fuels standards program may reduce demand for the petroleum fuels we produce and could result in significant compliance costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
The EPA has issued renewable fuel standards mandates, requiring refiners to blend renewable fuels into the transportation fuels they produce and sell in the United States. To the extent refiners do not or cannot blend renewable fuels into the transportation fuels they produce in the quantities required to satisfy their obligations under the RFS-2 program, those refiners must purchase RINs to demonstrate compliance. Under the RFS-2 program, the volume of renewable fuels that obligated parties are required to blend into their transportation fuels increases annually over time until 2022. The Big Spring and Krotz Springs refineries first became subject to the RFS-2 program in 2013, and the Krotz Springs refinery received a hardship exemption for 2013. The California refineries did not process crude oil during 2013-2016 and as a result were not subject to the RFS-2 requirements. The Big Spring refinery is able to blend renewable fuel into some of its transportation fuels, generating RINs for compliance. The Krotz Springs refinery sells substantially all of its gasoline subject to the RFS-2 program via the Colonial pipeline, which does not accept ethanol-blended products. As a result, we must purchase RINs to satisfy the resulting compliance obligation. Distillates produced at the Krotz Springs refinery are not subject to the requirements of the RFS-2 program. Our total RINs costs for 2016 and 2015 were $51.0 million and $35.1 million, respectively.
On December 14, 2015, the EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register establishing the renewable fuel volume mandates for 2014, 2015 and 2016, and the biomass-based diesel mandate for 2017. On December 12, 2016, the EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register establishing the renewable fuel volume mandates for 2017, and the biomass-based diesel mandate for 2018. The volumes included in the EPA’s final rules increase each year, but are lower, with the exception of the volumes for biomass-based diesel, than the volumes required by the Clean Air Act. The EPA used its waiver authorities to lower the volumes, but its decision to do so in the December 14, 2015 final rule has been challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In addition, in the December 14, 2015 final rule, the EPA articulated a policy to incentivize additional investments in renewable fuel blending and distribution infrastructure by increasing the price of RINs. The price of RINs has been extremely volatile and has increased over the last year. If the price of RINs increases, as predicted by the EPA, the impact could be material. We cannot predict the future prices of RINs and, thus, the expenses related to RINs compliance have the potential to be material. Existing laws and regulations could change, and the minimum volumes of renewable fuels that must be blended with refined petroleum fuels may increase. Because we do not produce renewable fuels, increasing the volume of renewable fuels that must be blended into our products displaces an increasing volume of our refineries’ product pool. If the demand for our transportation fuel decreases as a result of the use of increasing volumes of renewable fuels, increased fuel economy as a result of new EPA fuel economy standards, or other factors, it could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.
Loss of or reductions to tax incentives for biodiesel production may have a material adverse effect on the earnings, profitability and cash flows relating to our California renewable fuels facility.
The biodiesel industry has historically been substantially aided by federal and state tax incentives. One tax incentive program that has been significant to our California renewable fuels facility is the federal blender’s tax credit. The blender’s tax credit provided a $1.00 refundable tax credit per gallon of pure biodiesel, or B100, to the first blender of biodiesel with petroleum-based diesel fuel. The blender’s tax credit came into existence on January 1, 2005, and had been continuously reinstated until it expired on December 31, 2009 and was re-enacted in December 2010, retroactively for all of 2010 and prospectively for 2011. Since that time, the blender’s tax credit has expired on several occasions, only to be reinstated on a retroactive basis. Most recently, the blender’s tax credit expired on December 31, 2016. Congress has not taken action to reinstate the blender’s tax credit.


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It is uncertain what action, if any, Congress may take with respect to reinstating the blender’s tax credit or when such action might be effective. If Congress does not reinstate the credit, it may result in a material adverse effect on the earnings, profitability and cash flows relating to our California renewable fuels facility.
The adoption of regulations implementing recent financial reform legislation could impede our ability to manage business and financial risks by restricting our use of derivative instruments as hedges against fluctuating commodity prices.
The U.S. Congress adopted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”). This comprehensive financial reform legislation establishes federal oversight and regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives market and entities, such as us, that participate in that market. The Dodd-Frank Act requires the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), the SEC and other regulators to promulgate rules and regulations implementing the new legislation. The CFTC has proposed regulations to set position limits for certain futures and option contracts in the major energy markets and for swaps that are their economic equivalents. Certain bona fide hedging transactions or derivative instruments would be exempt from these position limits. As these proposed position limit rules are not yet final, the effect of those provisions on us is uncertain at this time. The Dodd-Frank Act may also require compliance with margin requirements and with certain clearing and trade-execution requirements in connection with certain derivative activities, although the application of those provisions to us, and the impact of such provisions on us, is uncertain at this time. The legislation may also require certain counterparties to our commodity derivative contracts to spin off some of their derivatives activities to a separate entity, which may not be as creditworthy as the current counterparty, or cause the entity to comply with the capital requirements, which could result in increased costs to counterparties such as us. The final rules will be phased in over time according to a specified schedule which is dependent on finalization of certain other rules to be promulgated by the CFTC and the SEC.
The Dodd-Frank Act and any new regulations could significantly increase the cost of some commodity derivative contracts (including through requirements to post collateral, which could adversely affect our available liquidity), materially alter the terms of some commodity derivative contracts, reduce the availability of some derivatives to protect against risks we encounter, reduce our ability to monetize or restructure our existing commodity derivative contracts and potentially increase our exposure to less creditworthy counterparties. If we reduce our use of derivatives as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act and any new regulations, our results of operations may become more volatile and our cash flows may be less predictable, which could adversely affect our ability to plan for and fund capital expenditures. Increased volatility may make us less attractive to certain types of investors. Finally, the Dodd- Frank Act was intended, in part, to reduce the volatility of oil and natural gas prices, which some legislators attributed to speculative trading in derivatives and commodity instruments related to oil and natural gas. If the Dodd-Frank Act and any new regulations result in lower commodity prices, our operating income could be adversely affected. Any of these consequences could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the European Union and other non-U.S. jurisdictions are implementing regulations with respect to the derivatives market. To the extent we transact with counterparties subject to such foreign jurisdictions, we may become subject to such regulations. At this time, the impact of such regulations is not clear.
We could encounter significant opposition to operations at our California refineries.
Our Paramount refinery is located in a residential area. The refinery is located near schools, apartment complexes, private homes and shopping establishments. In addition, our Long Beach refinery is located in close proximity to other commercial facilities, and our Bakersfield refinery is adjacent to newly developed commercial and retail property. Any loss of community support for our California refining operations could result in higher than expected expenses in connection with opposing any community action to restrict or terminate the operation of the refinery. Any community action in opposition to our current and planned use of the California refineries could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.
The occurrence of a release of hazardous materials or a catastrophic event affecting our California refineries could endanger persons living nearby.
Because our California refineries are located in residential areas, any release of hazardous material or catastrophic event could cause injuries to persons outside the confines of these refineries. In the event that persons were injured as a result of such an event, we would likely incur substantial legal costs as well as any costs resulting from settlements or adjudication of claims from such injured persons. The extent of these expenses and costs could be in excess of the limits provided by our insurance policies. As a result, any such event could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.
The dangers inherent in our operations could cause disruptions and expose us to potentially significant costs and liabilities.
Our operations are subject to significant hazards and risks inherent in refining operations and in transporting and storing crude oil, intermediate products and refined products. These hazards and risks include, but are not limited to, natural disasters,


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fires, explosions, pipeline ruptures and spills, waterborne transportation accidents, third-party interference and mechanical failure of equipment at our or third-party facilities and other events beyond our control. The occurrence of any of these events could result in production and distribution difficulties and disruptions, environmental pollution, personal injury or wrongful death claims and other damage to our properties and the properties of others.
In addition, certain of our refineries, pipelines and terminals are located in populated areas and any release of hazardous material or catastrophic event could affect our employees and contractors as well as persons outside our property. Our pipelines, trucks and rail cars carry flammable and toxic materials on public railways and roads and across populated and/or environmentally sensitive areas and waterways that could be severely impacted in the event of a release. An accident could result in significant personal injuries and/or cause a release that results in damage to occupied areas as well as damage to natural resources. It could also affect deliveries of crude oil to our refineries resulting in a curtailment of operations. The cost to remediate such an accidental release and address other potential liabilities as well as the costs associated with any interruption of operations could be substantial. Although we maintain significant insurance coverage for such events, it may not cover all potential losses or liabilities.
The occurrence of such events at any of our refineries could significantly disrupt our production and distribution of refined products, and any sustained disruption could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We are subject to interruptions of supply and distribution as a result of our reliance on pipelines and barges for transportation of crude oil and refined products.
Our refineries receive a substantial percentage of their crude oil and deliver a substantial percentage of their refined products through pipelines and barges. We could experience an interruption of supply or delivery, or an increased cost of receiving crude oil and delivering refined products to market, if the ability of these pipelines and barges to transport crude oil or refined products is disrupted because of accidents, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, governmental regulation, terrorism, or other third-party action. Our prolonged inability to use any of the pipelines or barges that we use to transport crude oil or refined products could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.
Certain of our facilities are located in areas that have a history of earthquakes or hurricanes, the occurrence of which could materially impact our operations.
Our refineries located in California and the related pipeline and asphalt terminals are located in areas with a history of earthquakes, some of which have been quite severe. Our Krotz Springs refinery is located less than 100 miles from the Gulf Coast. In the event of an earthquake or hurricane or other weather-related event that causes damage to our refining, pipeline or asphalt terminal assets, or the infrastructure necessary for the operation of these assets, such as the availability of usable roads, electricity, water, or natural gas, we may experience a significant interruption in our refining and/or marketing operations. Such an interruption could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and cash flows.
Terrorist attacks, threats of war or actual war may negatively affect our operations, financial condition and results of operations.
Terrorist attacks, threats of war or actual war, as well as events occurring in response to or in connection with them, may adversely affect our operations, financial condition and results of operations. Energy-related assets (which could include refineries, terminals and pipelines such as ours) may be at greater risk of terrorist attacks than other possible targets in the United States. A direct attack on our assets or assets used by us could have a material adverse effect on our operations, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, any terrorist attack, threats of war or actual war could have an adverse impact on energy prices, including prices for our crude oil and refined products, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, disruption or significant increases in energy prices could result in government-imposed price controls.
Our insurance policies do not cover all losses, costs or liabilities that we may experience.
We maintain significant insurance coverage, but it does not cover all potential losses, costs or liabilities. Our property damage and business interruption insurance policies that cover substantially all of our properties have a combined limit of $950 million. Claims for physical damage at our refineries and asphalt terminals are subject to a $10 million deductible. The business interruption insurance policies that cover our Big Spring and Krotz Springs refineries have a $550 million limit and are subject to a 45-day waiting period. At all of our facilities, including the Big Spring and Krotz Springs refineries, we are fully exposed to all losses in excess of the applicable limits and sub-limits, a $10 million deductible due to property damage and for losses due to business interruptions of fewer than 45 days.


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This discussion excludes our retail assets and the California renewable fuels facility, which have different coverages and deductibles.
We maintain third-party liability insurance policies that cover third-party claims with a $300 million limit, except for our California renewable fuels facility that has a $350 million limit, subject to a $5 million deductible. We are fully exposed to third-party claims in excess of the applicable limit and sub-limits and a $5 million deductible.
Additionally, we could suffer losses for uninsurable or uninsured risks or insurable events in amounts in excess of our existing insurance coverage. Our ability to obtain and maintain adequate insurance may be affected by conditions in the insurance market over which we have no control. The occurrence of an event that is not fully covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
We rely on information technology in our operations, and any material failure, inadequacy, interruption or security failure of that technology could harm our business.
We rely on information technology systems across our operations, including management of our supply chain, point of sale processing at our retail sites and various other processes and transactions. We rely on commercially available systems, software, tools and monitoring to provide security for processing, transmission and storage of confidential customer information, such as payment card and personal credit information.
In addition, the systems currently used for certain transmission and approval of payment card transactions, and the technology utilized in payment cards themselves, may put certain payment card data at risk. These standards for determining the required controls applicable to these systems are mandated by credit card issuers and administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Counsel and not by us. The regulatory environment surrounding information security and privacy is increasingly demanding, with the frequent imposition of new and constantly changing requirements. We have taken the necessary steps to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) at all our locations. However, compliance with these requirements may result in cost increases due to necessary systems changes and the development of new administrative processes.
In recent years, several retailers have experienced data breaches resulting in the exposure of sensitive customer data, including payment card information. Any compromise or breach of our information and payment technology systems could cause interruptions in our operations, damage our reputation, reduce our customers' willingness to visit our sites and conduct business with us, or expose us to litigation from customers or sanctions for violations of the PCI-DSS. In addition, a compromise of our internal data network at any of our refining or terminal locations may have disruptive impacts similar to that of our retail operations. These disruptions could range from inconvenience in accessing business information to a disruption in our refining operations. Cost increases may be incurred in this area to combat the continued escalation of cyber-attacks and/or disruptive criminal activity.
Also, we utilize information technology systems and controls that monitor the movement of petroleum products through our pipelines and terminals. An undetected failure of these systems could result in environmental damage, operational disruptions, regulatory enforcement or private litigation. Further, the failure of any of our systems to operate effectively, or problems we may experience with transitioning to upgraded or replacement systems, could significantly harm our business and operations and cause us to incur significant costs to remediate such problems.
A significant interruption related to our information technology systems could adversely affect our business.
Our information technology systems and network infrastructure may be subject to unauthorized access or attack, which could result in a loss of sensitive business information, systems interruption or the disruption of our business operations. There can be no assurance that our infrastructure protection technologies and disaster recovery plans can prevent a technology systems breach or systems failure, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations.
If we lose any of our key personnel, our ability to manage our business and continue our growth could be negatively affected.
Our future performance depends to a significant degree upon the continued contributions of our senior management team and key technical personnel. We do not currently maintain key man life insurance with respect to any member of our senior management team. The loss or unavailability to us of any member of our senior management team or a key technical employee could significantly harm us. We face competition for these professionals from our competitors, our customers and other companies operating in our industry. To the extent that the services of members of our senior management team and key technical personnel would be unavailable to us for any reason, we would be required to hire other personnel to manage and operate our company and to develop our products and technology. We cannot assure you that we would be able to locate or employ such qualified personnel on acceptable terms or at all.


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A substantial portion of our Big Spring refinery’s workforce is unionized, and we may face labor disruptions that would interfere with our operations.
As of December 31, 2016, we employed approximately 210 people at our Big Spring refinery, approximately 135 of whom were covered by a collective bargaining agreement that expires in April 2019. Our current labor agreement may not prevent a strike or work stoppage in the future, and any such work stoppage could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
It may be difficult to serve legal process on or enforce a United States judgment against certain of our directors.
Certain of our directors reside in Israel. In addition, a substantial portion of the assets of these directors are located outside of the United States. As a result, you may have difficulty serving legal process within the United States upon any of these persons. You may also have difficulty enforcing, both in and outside the United States, judgments you may obtain in United States courts against these persons in any action, including actions based upon the civil liability provisions of United States federal or state securities laws. Furthermore, there is substantial doubt that the courts of the State of Israel would enter judgments in original actions brought in those courts predicated on United States federal or state securities laws.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.
None.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
In the ordinary conduct of our business, we are subject to periodic lawsuits, investigations and claims, including environmental claims and employee related matters. Although we cannot predict with certainty the ultimate resolution of lawsuits, investigations and claims asserted against us, we do not believe that any currently pending legal proceeding or proceedings to which we are a party will have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.
One of our subsidiaries is a party to a lawsuit alleging breach of contract pertaining to an asphalt supply agreement. We believe that we have valid counterclaims as well as affirmative defenses that will preclude recovery. Attempts to reach a commercial arrangement to resolve the dispute have been unsuccessful to this point. This matter is not currently scheduled for trial. Due to the uncertainties of litigation, we cannot predict with certainty the ultimate resolution of this lawsuit.


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ITEM 4. MINE SAFTETY DISCLOSURES
None.


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PART II
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.
Market Information
Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “ALJ.”
The following table sets forth the quarterly high and low sales prices of our common stock and dividends issued during each quarterly period within the two most recently completed fiscal years:
 
 
Sales Prices of our Common Stock
 
Dividends per Common Share
Quarterly Period
 
High
 
Low
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2016
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
 
$
11.94

 
$
6.98

 
$
0.15

Third Quarter
 
8.74

 
5.86

 
0.15

Second Quarter
 
11.75

 
5.92

 
0.15

First Quarter
 
15.09

 
9.20

 
0.15

2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
 
$
19.84

 
$
14.65

 
$
0.15

Third Quarter
 
23.29

 
16.95

 
0.15

Second Quarter (1)
 
19.09

 
15.41

 
0.15

First Quarter
 
17.15

 
10.28

 
0.10

_______________________
(1)
Beginning in the second quarter of 2015, our board of directors increased the regular quarterly cash dividend from $0.10 per common share to $0.15 per common share.
On February 23, 2017, our board of directors approved the regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share on our common stock, payable on March 17, 2017, to holders of record at the close of business on March 9, 2017.
We intend to continue to pay quarterly cash dividends on our common stock at an annual rate of $0.60 per share. However, the declaration and payment of future dividends to holders of our common stock will be at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon many factors, including our financial condition, earnings, legal requirements, restrictions in our debt agreements and other factors our board of directors deems relevant.
Holders
As of February 21, 2017, there were 40 common stockholders of record.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
In June 2012, Alon amended a shareholder agreement among Alon, Jeff Morris, a former executive, and two of our subsidiaries Alon Assets, Inc. (“Alon Assets”) and Alon Operating, Inc. (“Alon Operating”), pursuant to which the non-voting shares of Alon Assets and Alon Operating held by Mr. Morris could be exchanged for shares of our common stock in quarterly installments over a five-year period. In November 2012, Alon Assets and Alon Operating were merged, with Alon Assets being the surviving entity.
The following issuances of shares of our common stock occurred during the December 31, 2016 fiscal year pursuant to the agreement described above:
 
 
Exchange Date
 
Number of Shares Issued
Jeff D. Morris
 
January 11, 2016
 
116,347

 
 
April 11, 2016
 
116,347

 
 
July 11, 2016
 
116,347

 
 
October 11, 2016
 
116,347

The issuances of the shares of common stock to Mr. Morris reflected above were exempt from registration under Section 4(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.


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Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
None.
Stockholder Return Performance Graph
The following performance graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filings under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.
The following performance graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock as traded on the NYSE with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index (the “S&P 500”) and our peer group as selected by management for the cumulative five-year period from December 31, 2011 to December 31, 2016, assuming an initial investment of $100 dollars and the reinvestment of all dividends, if any. The peer group is comprised of HollyFrontier Corporation (NYSE: HFC), Tesoro Corporation (NYSE: TSO), Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO), Delek US Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:DK), Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE:WNR) and CVR Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CVI). The stock performance shown on the graph below is historical and not necessarily indicative of future price performance.
alj-20141231x10k_charta03.jpg
 
12/2011
 
12/2012
 
12/2013
 
12/2014
 
12/2015
 
12/2016
Alon
$
100.00

 
$
210.76

 
$
197.24

 
$
156.68

 
$
189.75

 
$
155.55

S&P 500
100.00

 
116.00

 
153.58

 
174.60

 
177.01

 
198.18

Peer Group
100.00

 
192.03

 
273.97

 
273.86

 
364.52

 
346.41



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ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.
The following table sets forth selected historical consolidated financial data as of and for each of the five years ending December 31, 2016. The selected historical consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2016 and 2015, are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The selected historical consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements, which are not included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The following selected historical consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
 
(dollars in thousands, except per share data)
STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales
 
$
3,913,404

 
$
4,338,152

 
$
6,779,456

 
$
7,046,381

 
$
8,017,741

Loss on impairment of goodwill (1)
 

 
(39,028
)
 

 

 

Operating income (loss)
 
(67,410
)
 
203,409

 
201,572

 
149,433

 
269,475

Net income (loss) available to stockholders
 
(82,805
)
 
52,751

 
38,457

 
22,986

 
79,134

Earnings (loss) per share, basic
 
$
(1.17
)
 
$
0.76

 
$
0.56

 
$
0.33

 
$
1.29

Weighted average shares outstanding, basic
 
70,739

 
69,772

 
68,985

 
63,538

 
57,501

Earnings (loss) per share, diluted
 
$
(1.17
)
 
$
0.75

 
$
0.55

 
$
0.32

 
$
1.24

Weighted average shares outstanding, diluted
 
70,739

 
70,714

 
69,373

 
64,852

 
63,917

Cash dividends per common share
 
$
0.60

 
$
0.55

 
$
0.53

 
$
0.38

 
$
0.16

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
BALANCE SHEET DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 
$
136,302

 
$
234,127

 
$
214,961

 
$
224,499

 
$
116,296

Working capital
 
40,647

 
78,694

 
126,665

 
60,863

 
87,242

Total assets
 
2,110,159

 
2,176,138

 
2,191,644

 
2,235,024

 
2,211,061

Total debt
 
527,966

 
555,962

 
554,457

 
602,132

 
574,504

Total debt less cash and cash equivalents
 
391,664

 
321,835

 
339,496

 
377,633

 
458,208

Total equity
 
582,413

 
664,160

 
673,778

 
625,404

 
621,186

_________________
(1)
During the year ended December 31, 2015, we recognized a goodwill impairment loss of $39,028 related to our California refining reporting unit.


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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations is provided as a supplement to, and should be read in conjunction with, our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other sections of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including Items 1 and 2 “Business and Properties,” and Item 6 “Selected Financial Data.”
Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this report and other materials we file with the SEC, or in other written or oral statements made by us, other than statements of historical fact, are “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements relate to matters such as our industry, business strategy, goals and expectations concerning our market position, future operations, margins, profitability, capital expenditures, liquidity and capital resources and other financial and operating information. We have used the words “anticipate,” “assume,” “believe,” “budget,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “will,” “future” and similar terms and phrases to identify forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements reflect our current expectations of future events, results or outcomes. These expectations may or may not be realized. Some of these expectations may be based upon assumptions or judgments that prove to be incorrect. In addition, our business and operations involve numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could result in our expectations not being realized or otherwise materially affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. See Item 1A “Risk Factors.”
Actual events, results and outcomes may differ materially from our expectations due to a variety of factors. Although it is not possible to identify all of these factors, they include, among others, the following:
the possibility that the Mergers may not be consummated in a timely manner, or at all;
the diversion of management in connection with the Mergers and our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the Mergers;
changes in general economic conditions and capital markets;
changes in the underlying demand for our products;
the availability, costs and price volatility of crude oil, other refinery feedstocks and refined products;
changes in the spread between WTI Cushing crude oil and WTS crude oil or WTI Midland crude oil;
changes in the spread between WTI Cushing crude oil and LLS crude oil;
changes in the spread between Brent crude oil and WTI Cushing crude oil;
changes in the spread between Brent crude oil and LLS crude oil;
the effects of transactions involving forward contracts and derivative instruments;
actions of customers and competitors;
termination of our Supply and Offtake Agreements with J. Aron & Company (“J. Aron”), which include all of our refineries and certain of our asphalt terminals, under which J. Aron is one of our largest suppliers of crude oil and one of our largest customers of refined products. Additionally, upon termination of the Supply and Offtake Agreements, we are obligated to purchase the crude oil and refined product inventories then owned by J. Aron at then current market prices;
changes in fuel and utility costs incurred by our facilities;
disruptions due to equipment interruption, pipeline disruptions or failures at our or third-party facilities;
the execution of planned capital projects;
adverse changes in the credit ratings assigned to our debt instruments;
the effects and cost of compliance with the RFS-2 program, including the availability, cost and price volatility of RINs;
the effects and cost of compliance with current and future state and federal environmental, economic, safety and other laws, policies and regulations;


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the effects of seasonality on demand for our products;
the level of competition from other petroleum refiners;
operating hazards, accidents, fires, severe weather, floods and other natural disasters, casualty losses and other matters beyond our control, which could result in unscheduled downtime;
the effect of any national or international financial crisis on our business and financial condition; and
the other factors discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the caption “Risk Factors.”
Any one of these factors or a combination of these factors could materially affect our future results of operations and could influence whether any forward-looking statements ultimately prove to be accurate. Our forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results and future performance may differ materially from those suggested in any forward-looking statements. We do not intend to update these statements unless we are required by the securities laws to do so.
Company Overview
We are an independent refiner and marketer of petroleum products, operating primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the United States. We own 100% of the general partner and 81.6% of the limited partner interests in Alon USA Partners, LP (the “Partnership”) (NYSE: ALDW), which owns a crude oil refinery in Big Spring, Texas, with a crude oil throughput capacity of 73,000 barrels per day and an integrated wholesale marketing business. In addition, we directly own a crude oil refinery in Krotz Springs, Louisiana, with a crude oil throughput capacity of 74,000 bpd. We also own crude oil refineries in California, which have not processed crude oil since 2012. We own a majority interest in a renewable fuels facility in California, with a throughput capacity of 3,000 bpd. We are a leading marketer of asphalt, which we distribute primarily through asphalt terminals located predominately in the Southwestern and Western United States. We are the largest 7-Eleven licensee in the United States and operate 306 convenience stores which also market motor fuels in Central and West Texas and New Mexico.
Refining and Marketing
Our refining and marketing segment includes a sour crude oil refinery located in Big Spring, Texas, a light sweet crude oil refinery located in Krotz Springs, Louisiana, and heavy crude oil refineries located in Paramount, Bakersfield and Long Beach, California (“California refineries”). Our California refineries have not processed crude oil since 2012. Our refining and marketing segment also includes our majority ownership interest in a renewable fuels facility in California, which has a throughput capacity of 3,000 bpd. We primarily refine crude oil into petroleum products, including various grades of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, petrochemicals, petrochemical feedstocks, asphalt, and other petroleum-based products, which are marketed primarily in the South Central, Southwestern and Western regions of the United States.
We own the Big Spring refinery and its integrated wholesale marketing operations through the Partnership. Our marketing of transportation fuels produced at the Big Spring refinery is focused on Central and West Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. We refer to our operations in these regions as our “physically integrated system” because we primarily supply our customers in this region with motor fuels produced at our Big Spring refinery and distributed through a network of pipelines and terminals that we own or access through leases or long-term throughput agreements.
We sell motor fuels under the Alon brand through various terminals to supply 639 locations, including our retail segment convenience stores. We provide substantially all of our branded customers motor fuels, brand support and payment processing services in addition to the license of the Alon brand name and associated trade dress.
We market transportation fuel production from our Krotz Springs refinery substantially through bulk sales and exchange channels. These bulk sales and exchange arrangements are entered into with various oil companies and trading companies and are transported to markets on the Mississippi River and the Atchafalaya River as well as to the Colonial Pipeline.
We are the majority owner of a renewable fuels facility in California that began commercial production in February 2016 and converts tallow and vegetable oils into renewable fuels. The produced renewable fuels are drop-in replacements for petroleum-based fuels. The renewable fuels facility generates both state and federal environmental credits as well as the federal blender’s tax credit, when effective.
Asphalt
We own or operate 11 asphalt terminals located in Texas (Big Spring), Washington (Richmond Beach), California (Paramount, Long Beach, Elk Grove, Mojave and Bakersfield), Arizona (Phoenix and Flagstaff) as well as asphalt terminals in which we own a 50% interest located in Fernley, Nevada, and Brownwood, Texas. The operations in which we have a 50% interest are recorded under the equity method of accounting and the investments are included as part of total assets in the asphalt segment data.


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We purchase non-blended asphalt from third parties in addition to non-blended asphalt produced at the Big Spring refinery. We market asphalt through our terminals as blended and non-blended asphalt. Through our asphalt facilities, we are marketing a number of different product formulations, including both polymer modified asphalt and ground tire rubber asphalt. We have an exclusive license to use advanced asphalt-blending technology in West Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, and a non-exclusive license in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, with respect to asphalt produced at our Big Spring refinery.
Asphalt produced by our Big Spring refinery is transferred to the asphalt segment at prices substantially determined by reference to the cost of crude and Rocky Mountain asphalt, which is intended to approximate wholesale market prices. We market asphalt primarily as paving asphalt to road and materials manufacturers and as ground tire rubber polymer modified or emulsion asphalt to highway construction/maintenance contractors. Sales of asphalt are seasonal with the majority of sales occurring between May and October.
Retail
Our convenience stores typically offer various grades of gasoline, diesel, food products, food service, tobacco products, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, general merchandise as well as money orders to the public, primarily under the 7-Eleven and Alon brand names. Substantially all of the motor fuel sold through our retail segment is supplied by our Big Spring refinery.
For additional information on each of our operating segments, see Items 1. and 2. “Business and Properties.”
2016 Operational and Financial Highlights
Our operational and financial highlights for 2016 include the following:
Operating loss for 2016 was $(67.4) million, compared to operating income of $203.4 million in 2015.
Combined refinery average throughput for 2016 was 139,243 bpd, compared to a combined refinery average throughput of 140,036 bpd in 2015.
The Big Spring refinery average throughput for 2016 was 71,363 bpd compared to 74,906 bpd for 2015. The reduced throughput at our Big Spring refinery during 2016 was the result of a reformer regeneration during the first quarter of 2016 and third quarter of 2016. Additionally, throughput was reduced as a result of a catalyst replacement for our diesel hydrotreater unit in the first quarter of 2016 and unplanned downtime during the second quarter of 2016 due to a power outage caused by inclement weather, which affected multiple units.
The Krotz Springs refinery average throughput for 2016 was 67,880 bpd compared to 65,130 bpd for 2015. During 2016, the Krotz Springs refinery throughput was impacted by our election to reduce the crude rate in order to optimize the refinery yield, as well as maintenance that was performed on the fluid catalytic cracking unit during the second quarter of 2016. During 2015, we completed the planned major turnaround at the Krotz Springs refinery, which reduced throughput during the period.
Refinery operating margin at the Big Spring refinery was $8.28 per barrel in 2016, compared to $14.43 per barrel in 2015. This decrease in operating margin was primarily due to a lower Gulf Coast 3/2/1 crack spread, a narrowing of the WTI Cushing to WTI Midland spread and increased RINs costs, partially offset by a widening of the WTI Cushing to WTS spread and an increased benefit from the contango market environment which reduced the cost of crude.
Refinery operating margin at the Krotz Springs refinery was $3.06 per barrel in 2016 compared to $7.02 per barrel for 2015. This decrease in operating margin was primarily due to a lower Gulf Coast 2/1/1 high sulfur diesel crack spread, a narrowing of both the WTI Cushing to WTI Midland and the LLS to WTI Cushing spreads and increased RINs costs, partially offset by an increased benefit from the contango market environment which reduced the cost of crude.
The average Gulf Coast 3/2/1 crack spread was $12.64 per barrel for 2016 compared to $17.02 per barrel for 2015. The average Gulf Coast 2/1/1 high sulfur diesel crack spread for 2016 was $7.95 per barrel compared to $10.81 per barrel for 2015.
The average WTI Cushing to WTI Midland spread for 2016 was $0.15 per barrel compared to $0.39 per barrel for 2015. The average WTI Cushing to WTS spread for 2016 was $0.73 per barrel compared to $(0.06) per barrel for 2015. The average LLS to WTI Cushing spread for 2016 was $1.70 per barrel compared to $3.73 per barrel for 2015. The average Brent to WTI Cushing spread for 2016 was $0.21 per barrel compared to $3.54 per barrel for 2015. The average Brent to LLS spread for 2016 was $(1.45) per barrel compared to $0.14 per barrel for 2015.


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The average RINs cost effect on the Big Spring refinery operating margin was $0.55 per barrel for 2016, compared to $0.42 per barrel for 2015. The average RINs cost effect on the Krotz Springs refinery operating margin was $1.48 per barrel for 2016, compared to $0.99 per barrel for 2015.
The contango environment in 2016 created an average cost of crude benefit of $1.24 per barrel compared to an average cost of crude benefit of $1.01 per barrel for 2015.
We are the majority owner of a renewable fuels facility in California that began commercial production in February 2016. Through the facility, we generated an operating margin of $68.67 per barrel from an average of 2,275 barrels per day of throughput for 2016. Our statements of operations include operating income of $24.1 million in 2016 related to the facility’s operations.
Asphalt margins in 2016 were $98.80 per ton compared to $105.70 per ton in 2015.
Retail fuel margins decreased to 19.8 cents per gallon in 2016 from 21.3 cents per gallon in 2015. Retail fuel sales volume increased to 209.0 million gallons in 2016 from 199.1 million gallons in 2015. Merchandise margins decreased to 31.2% in 2016 from 31.9% in 2015. Merchandise sales decreased to $324.4 million in 2016 from $328.5 million in 2015.
During 2016, we paid cash dividends on our common stock totaling $0.60 per share, compared to $0.55 per share in 2015.
During 2016, the Partnership generated cash available for distribution of $0.40 per unit, compared to $2.81 per unit in 2015.
Major Influences on Results of Operations
Refining and Marketing. Earnings and cash flows from our refining and marketing segment are primarily affected by the difference between refined product prices and the prices for crude oil and other feedstocks. These prices depend on numerous factors beyond our control, including the supply of, and demand for, crude oil, gasoline and other refined products which, in turn, depend on, among other factors, changes in domestic and foreign economies, weather conditions, domestic and foreign political affairs, production levels, the availability of imports, the marketing of competitive fuels and government regulation. While our sales and operating revenues fluctuate significantly with movements in crude oil and refined product prices, it is the spread between crude oil and refined product prices, not necessarily fluctuations in those prices, that affects our earnings.
In order to measure our operating performance, we compare our per barrel refinery operating margins to certain industry benchmarks. We calculate this margin for each refinery by dividing the refinery’s gross margin by its throughput volumes. Gross margin is the difference between net sales and cost of sales (exclusive of certain adjustments and inclusive of RINs costs). Each refinery is compared to an industry benchmark that is intended to approximate that refinery’s crude slate and product yield.
We compare our Big Spring refinery’s operating margin to the Gulf Coast 3/2/1 crack spread. A Gulf Coast 3/2/1 crack spread is calculated assuming that three barrels of WTI Cushing crude oil are converted, or cracked, into two barrels of Gulf Coast conventional gasoline and one barrel of Gulf Coast ultra-low sulfur diesel.
We compare our Krotz Springs refinery’s operating margin to the Gulf Coast 2/1/1 high sulfur diesel crack spread. A Gulf Coast 2/1/1 high sulfur diesel crack spread is calculated assuming that two barrels of LLS crude oil are converted into one barrel of Gulf Coast conventional gasoline and one barrel of Gulf Coast high sulfur diesel.
Our Big Spring refinery is capable of processing substantial volumes of sour crude oil, which has historically cost less than intermediate and sweet crude oils. We measure the cost advantage of refining sour crude oil by calculating the difference between the price of WTI Cushing crude oil and the price of WTS, a medium, sour crude oil. We refer to this differential as the WTI Cushing/WTS, or sweet/sour, spread. A widening of the sweet/sour spread can favorably influence the operating margin for our Big Spring refinery. The Big Spring refinery’s crude oil input is primarily comprised of WTS and WTI Midland.
The Krotz Springs refinery has the capability to process substantial volumes of low-sulfur, or sweet, crude oils to produce a high percentage of light, high-value refined products. Sweet crude oil typically comprises 100% of the Krotz Springs refinery’s crude oil input. The Krotz Springs refinery’s crude oil input is primarily comprised of LLS and WTI Midland.
In addition, the location of the Big Spring refinery near Midland, the largest origination terminal for West Texas crude oil, provides reliable crude sourcing with a relatively low transportation cost. Additionally, we have the ability to source locally produced crude at Big Spring by truck, which enables us to better control quality and eliminate the cost of transporting our crude supply from Midland. The WTI Cushing less WTI Midland spread represents the differential between the average per barrel price of WTI Cushing crude oil and the average per barrel price of WTI Midland crude oil. A widening of the WTI


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Cushing less WTI Midland spread will favorably influence the operating margin for both our Big Spring and Krotz Springs refineries. Alternatively, a narrowing of this differential will have an adverse effect on our operating margins.
Global product prices are influenced by the price of Brent crude which is a global benchmark crude. Global product prices influence product prices in the U.S. As a result, both our Big Spring and Krotz Springs refineries are influenced by the spread between Brent crude and WTI Cushing. The Brent less WTI Cushing spread represents the differential between the average per barrel price of Brent crude oil and the average per barrel price of WTI Cushing crude oil. A widening of the spread between Brent and WTI Cushing will favorably influence both the Big Spring and Krotz Springs refineries’ operating margins. Also, the Krotz Springs refinery is influenced by the spread between Brent crude and LLS. The Brent less LLS spread represents the differential between the average per barrel price of Brent crude oil and the average per barrel price of LLS crude oil. A discount in LLS relative to Brent will favorably influence the Krotz Springs refinery operating margins.
The results of operations from our refining and marketing segment are also significantly affected by our refineries’ operating costs, particularly the cost of natural gas used for fuel and the cost of electricity. Natural gas prices have historically been volatile. Typically, electricity prices fluctuate with natural gas prices.
Demand for gasoline products is generally higher during summer months than during winter months due to seasonal increases in highway traffic. As a result, the operating results for our refining and marketing segment for the first and fourth calendar quarters are generally lower than those for the second and third calendar quarters. The effects of seasonal demand for gasoline are partially offset by seasonality in demand for diesel, which in our region is generally higher in winter months as east-west trucking traffic moves south to avoid winter conditions on northern routes.
Safety, reliability and the environmental performance of our refineries are critical to our financial performance. The financial impact of planned downtime, such as a turnaround or major maintenance project, is mitigated through a diligent planning process that considers expectations for product availability, margin environment and the availability of resources to perform the required maintenance.
The nature of our business requires us to maintain crude oil and refined product inventories. Crude oil and refined products are essentially commodities, and we have no control over the changing market value of these inventories. Because our inventory is valued at the lower of cost or market value under the last-in, first-out (“LIFO”) inventory valuation methodology, price fluctuations generally have little effect on our financial results.
Asphalt. Earnings and cash flows from our asphalt segment depend primarily upon the margin between the price at which we sell our asphalt and the price asphalt is purchased from third parties or the transfer price for asphalt produced at the Big Spring refinery. Asphalt is transferred to our asphalt segment from our refining and marketing segment at prices substantially determined by reference to the cost of crude oil, which is intended to approximate wholesale market prices. A portion of our asphalt sales are made using fixed price contracts for delivery at future dates. Because these contracts are priced using market prices for asphalt at the time of the contract, a change in the cost of crude oil between the time we enter into the contract and the time we produce the asphalt can positively or negatively influence the earnings of our asphalt segment. Demand for paving asphalt products is higher during warmer months than during colder months due to seasonal increases in road construction work. As a result, revenues from our asphalt segment for the first and fourth calendar quarters are expected to be lower than those for the second and third calendar quarters.
Retail. Earnings and cash flows from our retail segment are primarily affected by merchandise and retail fuel sales volumes and margins at our convenience stores. Retail merchandise gross margin is equal to retail merchandise sales less the delivered cost of the retail merchandise, net of vendor discounts and rebates, measured as a percentage of total retail merchandise sales. Retail merchandise sales are driven by convenience, branding and competitive pricing. Retail fuel margin is equal to retail fuel sales less the delivered cost of fuel and excise taxes, measured on a cents per gallon basis. Our retail fuel margins are driven by local supply, demand and competitor pricing. Our retail sales are seasonal and peak in the second and third quarters of the year, while the first and fourth quarters usually experience lower overall sales.


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Factors Affecting Comparability
Our financial condition and operating results over the three-year period ended December 31, 2016 have been influenced by the following factors, which are fundamental to understanding comparisons of our period-to-period financial performance.
Maintenance and Turnaround Impact on Crude Oil Throughput
During the year ended December 31, 2016, throughput at the Big Spring refinery was reduced as a result of a reformer regeneration during the first quarter of 2016 and third quarter of 2016. Additionally, throughput was reduced as a result of a catalyst replacement for our diesel hydrotreater unit in the first quarter of 2016 and unplanned downtime during the second quarter of 2016 due to a power outage caused by inclement weather, which affected multiple units. During 2016, the Krotz Springs refinery throughput was impacted by our election to reduce the crude rate in order to optimize the refinery yield, as well as maintenance that was performed on the fluid catalytic cracking unit during the second quarter of 2016.
During the year ended December 31, 2015, we completed the planned major turnaround at the Krotz Springs refinery. This planned downtime at our Krotz Springs refinery resulted in reduced refinery throughput and earnings during the period.
During the year ended December 31, 2014, we completed both the planned major turnaround and the vacuum tower project at the Big Spring refinery, which increased our distillate yield, improved energy efficiency and allowed us to better optimize our crude slate. This planned downtime at our Big Spring refinery resulted in reduced refinery throughput and earnings during 2014.
California Renewable Fuels Facility
Our California renewable fuels facility began operations in February 2016. The facility converts approximately 3,000 barrels per day of tallow and other feedstocks into renewable fuels, which are replacements for petroleum-based fuels. Our California renewable fuels facility generates environmental credits in the form of renewable identification numbers, California low-carbon fuels standards credits as well as the blender’s tax credits, when effective, which are all recorded in net sales as part of our refining and marketing segment. For the year ended December 31, 2016, our statements of operations include operating income of $24.1 million related to the facility’s operations.
Certain Derivative Impacts
Included in cost of sales for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 are realized and unrealized gains on commodity swaps of $0.4 million, $59.2 million and $4.7 million, respectively.
Impairment of Goodwill
The volatility in the crude price environment during 2015 caused a reduction in the growth rate for U.S. crude oil production, which subsequently caused a reduction in U.S. crude oil price discounts compared to waterborne crude prices. As a result, we have delayed planned projects within the California refining reporting unit, which had a negative effect on the timing of future cash flows. We recognized a goodwill impairment loss of $39.0 million related to our California refining reporting unit for the year ended December 31, 2015, which is included in our refining and marketing segment.
Interest Expense Impacts
A component of our supply and offtake agreements fees, which affects our interest expense, is related to the crude oil price environment whereby a backwardated environment adds to our interest expense and a contango environment reduces our interest expense.


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Results of Operations
The period-to-period comparisons of our results of operations have been prepared using the historical periods included in our consolidated financial statements. We refer to our financial statement line items in the explanation of our period-to-period changes in results of operations. Below are general definitions of what those line items include and represent.
Net Sales. Net sales consist primarily of sales of refined petroleum products through our refining and marketing segment and asphalt segment and sales of merchandise, food products and motor fuels through our retail segment.
Refining and marketing net sales consist of gross sales, net of customer rebates, discounts and excise taxes and include intersegment sales to our asphalt and retail segments, which are eliminated through consolidation of our financial statements. Also included in net sales are environmental credits in the form of RINs, California low-carbon fuel standards credits and blender’s tax credits generated at our California renewable fuels facility. Asphalt net sales consist of gross sales, net of any discounts and applicable taxes. Our petroleum and asphalt product sales are mainly affected by crude oil and refined product prices and volume changes caused by operations. Retail net sales consist of gross merchandise sales, less rebates, commissions and discounts, and gross fuel sales, including excise taxes. Our retail merchandise sales are affected primarily by competition and seasonal influences.
Cost of Sales. Refining and marketing cost of sales includes principally crude oil, blending materials and RINs, other raw materials and transportation costs, which include costs associated with crude oil and product pipelines which we utilize. Asphalt cost of sales includes costs of purchased asphalt, blending materials and transportation costs. Retail cost of sales includes motor fuels and merchandise. Retail fuel cost of sales represents the cost of purchased fuel, including transportation costs and associated excise taxes. Merchandise cost of sales includes the delivered cost of merchandise purchases, net of merchandise rebates and commissions. Cost of sales excludes depreciation and amortization expense, which is presented separately in the consolidated statements of operations.
Direct Operating Expenses. Direct operating expenses, which relate to our refining and marketing and asphalt segments, include costs associated with the actual operations of our refineries and asphalt terminals, such as energy and utility costs, routine maintenance, labor, insurance and environmental compliance costs.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. Selling, general and administrative, or SG&A, expenses consist primarily of costs relating to the operations of our convenience stores, including labor, utilities, maintenance and retail corporate overhead costs. Corporate overhead and wholesale marketing expenses are also included in SG&A expenses for the refining and marketing and asphalt segments.
Depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization represents an allocation of the cost of capital assets to expense within the consolidated statements of operations. The cost is expensed based on the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the related asset. Depreciation and amortization also includes deferred turnaround and catalyst replacement costs. Turnaround and catalyst replacement costs are currently deferred and amortized on a straight-line basis beginning the month after the completion of the turnaround and ending immediately prior to the next scheduled turnaround.
Operating income. Operating income represents our net sales less our total operating costs and expenses.
Interest expense. Interest expense includes interest expense, letters of credit, financing charges related to the supply and offtake agreements, financing fees, and amortization of both original issuance discount and deferred debt issuance costs but excludes capitalized interest.


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ALON USA ENERGY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES CONSOLIDATED
Summary Financial Tables. The following tables provide summary financial data and selected key operating statistics for us and our three operating segments for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014. The summary financial data for our three operating segments does not include certain SG&A expenses and depreciation and amortization related to our corporate headquarters. The following data should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
(dollars in thousands, except per share data)
STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales (1)
$
3,913,404

 
$
4,338,152

 
$
6,779,456

Operating costs and expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
Cost of sales
3,376,803

 
3,515,406

 
6,002,270

Direct operating expenses
262,706

 
255,534

 
281,686

Selling, general and administrative expenses (2)
194,078

 
200,195

 
170,139

Depreciation and amortization (3)
145,577

 
126,494

 
124,063

Total operating costs and expenses
3,979,164

 
4,097,629

 
6,578,158

Gain (loss) on disposition of assets
(1,650
)
 
1,914

 
274

Loss on impairment of goodwill (4)

 
(39,028
)
 

Operating income (loss)
(67,410
)
 
203,409

 
201,572

Interest expense
(69,717
)
 
(79,826
)
 
(111,143
)
Equity earnings of investees
9,813

 
6,669

 
1,678

Other income, net
692

 
417

 
674

Income (loss) before income tax expense (benefit)
(126,622
)
 
130,669

 
92,781

Income tax expense (benefit)
(46,789
)
 
48,282

 
22,913

Net income (loss)
(79,833
)
 
82,387

 
69,868

Net income attributable to non-controlling interest
2,972

 
29,636

 
31,411

Net income (loss) available to stockholders
$
(82,805
)
 
$
52,751

 
$
38,457

Earnings (loss) per share, basic
$
(1.17
)
 
$
0.76

 
$
0.56

Weighted average shares outstanding, basic (in thousands)
70,739

 
69,772

 
68,985

Earnings (loss) per share, diluted
$
(1.17
)
 
$
0.75

 
$
0.55

Weighted average shares outstanding, diluted (in thousands)
70,739

 
70,714

 
69,373

Cash dividends per share
$
0.60

 
$
0.55

 
$
0.53

CASH FLOW DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used in):
 
 
 
 
 
Operating activities
$
59,516

 
$
226,065

 
$
193,658

Investing activities
(94,129
)
 
(160,011
)
 
(108,995
)
Financing activities
(63,212
)
 
(46,888
)
 
(94,201
)
OTHER DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
Adjusted EBITDA (5)
$
90,322

 
$
374,103

 
$
327,713

Capital expenditures (6)
58,644

 
101,195

 
88,429

Capital expenditures for turnarounds and catalysts
29,806

 
35,348

 
62,473



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As of December 31,
 
2016
 
2015
 
(dollars in thousands)
BALANCE SHEET DATA (end of period):
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
136,302

 
$
234,127

Working capital
40,647

 
78,694

Total assets
2,110,159

 
2,176,138

Total debt
527,966

 
555,962

Total debt less cash and cash equivalents
391,664

 
321,835

Total equity
582,413

 
664,160

(1)
Includes excise taxes on sales by the retail segment of $81,602, $77,860 and $75,409 for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.
(2)
Includes corporate headquarters selling, general and administrative expenses of $738, $713 and $705 for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively, which are not allocated to our three operating segments.
(3)
Includes corporate depreciation and amortization of $2,710, $1,552 and $2,399 for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively, which are not allocated to our three operating segments.
(4)
During the year ended December 31, 2015, we recognized a goodwill impairment loss of $39,028 related to our California refining reporting unit.
(5)
See “Reconciliation of Amounts Reported Under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” for information regarding our definition of Adjusted EBITDA, its limitations as an analytical tool and a reconciliation of net income available to stockholders to Adjusted EBITDA for the periods presented.
(6)
Includes corporate capital expenditures of $3,348, $5,388 and $2,756 for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively, which are not allocated to our three operating segments.


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Table of Contents

REFINING AND MARKETING SEGMENT
 
 
 
 
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
(dollars in thousands, except per barrel data and pricing statistics)
STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales (1)
$
3,240,170

 
$
3,663,956

 
$
5,937,982

Operating costs and expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
Cost of sales
2,905,470

 
3,034,531

 
5,329,605

Direct operating expenses
237,053

 
227,517

 
241,833

Selling, general and administrative expenses
68,210

 
79,022

 
56,004

Depreciation and amortization
124,304

 
107,619

 
104,676

Total operating costs and expenses
3,335,037

 
3,448,689

 
5,732,118

Gain (loss) on disposition of assets
(2,079
)
 
1,842

 
(1,255
)
Loss on impairment of goodwill (2)

 
(39,028
)
 

Operating income (loss)
$
(96,946
)
 
$
178,081

 
$
204,609

KEY OPERATING STATISTICS:
 
 
 
 
 
Per barrel of throughput:
 
 
 
 
 
Refinery operating margin – Big Spring (3)
$
8.28

 
$
14.43

 
$
16.69

Refinery operating margin – Krotz Springs (3)
3.06

 
7.02

 
7.57

California renewable fuels operating margin (4)
68.67

 
N/A

 
N/A

Refinery direct operating expense – Big Spring (5)
3.73

 
3.62

 
4.39

Refinery direct operating expense – Krotz Springs (5)
3.78

 
4.03

 
4.12

California renewable fuels direct operating expense (5)
22.12

 
N/A

 
N/A

Capital expenditures
$
48,672

 
$
73,429

 
$
63,148

Capital expenditures for turnarounds and catalysts
29,806

 
35,348

 
62,473

PRICING STATISTICS:
 
 
 
 
 
Crack spreads (3/2/1) (per barrel):
 
 
 
 
 
Gulf Coast
$
12.64

 
$
17.02

 
$
14.52

Crack spreads (2/1/1) (per barrel):
 
 
 
 
 
Gulf Coast high sulfur diesel
$
7.95

 
$
10.81

 
$
9.76

WTI Cushing crude oil (per barrel)
$
43.24

 
$
48.68

 
$
93.10

Crude oil differentials (per barrel):
 
 
 
 
 
WTI Cushing less WTI Midland
$
0.15

 
$
0.39

 
$
6.93

WTI Cushing less WTS
0.73

 
(0.06
)
 
6.04

LLS less WTI Cushing
1.70

 
3.73

 
3.85

Brent less WTI Cushing
0.21

 
3.54

 
6.19

Brent less LLS
(1.45
)
 
0.14

 
3.45

Product price (dollars per gallon):
 
 
 
 
 
Gulf Coast unleaded gasoline
$
1.34

 
$
1.56

 
$
2.49

Gulf Coast ultra-low sulfur diesel
1.32

 
1.58

 
2.71

Gulf Coast high sulfur diesel
1.18

 
1.45

 
2.59

Natural gas (per MMBtu)
2.55

 
2.63

 
4.26



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Table of Contents

THROUGHPUT AND PRODUCTION DATA:
BIG SPRING REFINERY
Year Ended December 31,
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
bpd
 
%
 
bpd
 
%
 
bpd
 
%
Refinery throughput:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WTS crude
31,000

 
43.4

 
33,647

 
44.9

 
30,323

 
45.9

WTI crude
36,862

 
51.7

 
38,632

 
51.6

 
32,429

 
49.1

Blendstocks
3,501

 
4.9

 
2,627

 
3.5

 
3,281

 
5.0

Total refinery throughput (6)
71,363

 
100.0

 
74,906

 
100.0

 
66,033

 
100.0

Refinery production:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gasoline
35,220

 
49.4

 
37,519

 
50.0

 
32,932

 
49.7

Diesel/jet
25,739

 
36.1

 
27,651

 
36.8

 
23,252

 
35.1

Asphalt
2,767

 
3.9

 
2,639

 
3.5

 
2,716

 
4.1

Petrochemicals
3,872

 
5.4

 
4,579

 
6.1

 
3,756

 
5.7

Other
3,740

 
5.2

 
2,678

 
3.6

 
3,565

 
5.4

Total refinery production (7)
71,338

 
100.0

 
75,066

 
100.0

 
66,221

 
100.0

Refinery utilization (8)
 
 
96.1
%
 
 
 
99.0
%
 
 
 
97.2
%
THROUGHPUT AND PRODUCTION DATA:
KROTZ SPRINGS REFINERY
Year Ended December 31,
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
bpd
 
%
 
bpd
 
%
 
bpd
 
%
Refinery throughput:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WTI crude
19,990

 
29.4

 
22,408

 
34.4

 
28,373

 
40.3

Gulf Coast sweet crude
42,835

 
63.2

 
38,699

 
59.4

 
39,636

 
56.4

Blendstocks
5,055

 
7.4

 
4,023

 
6.2

 
2,336

 
3.3

Total refinery throughput (6)
67,880

 
100.0

 
65,130

 
100.0

 
70,345

 
100.0

Refinery production:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gasoline
33,706

 
48.8

 
30,193

 
45.5

 
32,925

 
45.9

Diesel/jet
26,346

 
38.1

 
27,259

 
41.0

 
30,060

 
41.9

Heavy Oils
1,238

 
1.8

 
1,165

 
1.8

 
1,146

 
1.6

Other
7,801

 
11.3

 
7,781

 
11.7

 
7,579

 
10.6

Total refinery production (7)
69,091

 
100.0

 
66,398

 
100.0

 
71,710

 
100.0

Refinery utilization (8)
 
 
84.9
%
 
 
 
91.3
%
 
 
 
91.9
%
THROUGHPUT AND PRODUCTION DATA:
CALIFORNIA RENEWABLE FUELS FACILITY
Year Ended December 31,
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
bpd
 
%
 
bpd
 
%
 
bpd
 
%
Throughput:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tallow/vegetable oils
2,275

 
100.0

 

 

 

 

Total throughput (6)
2,275

 
100.0

 

 

 

 

Production:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Renewable diesel
1,998

 
89.0

 

 

 

 

Renewable jet
149

 
6.6

 

 

 

 

Naphtha
99

 
4.4

 

 

 

 

Total production (7)
2,246

 
100.0

 

 

 

 




40

Table of Contents

(1)
Net sales include intersegment sales to our asphalt and retail segments at prices which approximate wholesale market prices. These intersegment sales are eliminated through consolidation of our financial statements.
(2)
During the year ended December 31, 2015, we recognized a goodwill impairment loss of $39,028 related to our California refining reporting unit.
(3)
Refinery operating margin is a per barrel measurement calculated by dividing the margin between net sales and cost of sales (exclusive of certain adjustments) attributable to each refinery by the refinery’s throughput volumes. Industry-wide refining results are driven and measured by the margins between refined product prices and the prices for crude oil, which are referred to as crack spreads. We compare our refinery operating margins to these crack spreads to assess our operating performance relative to other participants in our industry.
The refinery operating margin for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014 excludes realized and unrealized gains on commodity swaps of $367, $59,215 and $4,660, respectively. The refinery operating margin for the year ended December 31, 2015 also excludes insurance recoveries of $10,868.
The refinery operating margin for the Big Spring refinery and the Krotz Springs refinery excludes $3,941 related substantially to inventory adjustments for the year ended December 31, 2015.
(4)
The operating margin for our California renewable fuels facility is a per barrel measurement calculated by dividing the facility’s margin between net sales and cost of sales by the facility’s throughput volumes. Included in net sales are environmental credits in the form of RINs, California low-carbon fuel standards credits and blender’s tax credits generated by the facility.
(5)
Refinery direct operating expense is a per barrel measurement calculated by dividing direct operating expenses at our refineries by the applicable refinery’s total throughput volumes.
(6)
Total refinery throughput represents the total barrels per day of crude oil and blendstock inputs in the refinery production process. Total throughput for the California renewable fuels facility represents the total barrels per day of tallow and vegetable oils used by the facility for the period following March 1, 2016.
(7)
Total refinery production represents the barrels per day of various products produced from processing crude and other refinery feedstocks through the crude units and other conversion units at the refineries. Total production for the California renewable fuels facility represents the barrels per day of various products produced from processing tallow and vegetable oils through the facility’s units for the period following March 1, 2016.
(8)
Refinery utilization represents average daily crude oil throughput divided by crude oil capacity, excluding planned periods of downtime for maintenance and turnarounds.


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Table of Contents

ASPHALT SEGMENT
 
 
 
 
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
(dollars in thousands, except per ton data)
STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales (1)
$
248,988

 
$
257,955

 
$
457,412

Operating costs and expenses:

 

 
 
Cost of sales (1) (2)
190,047

 
212,166

 
431,931

Direct operating expenses
25,653

 
28,017

 
39,853

Selling, general and administrative expenses
10,796

 
10,517

 
7,874

Depreciation and amortization
5,044

 
4,892

 
4,747

Total operating costs and expenses
231,540

 
255,592

 
484,405

Gain on disposition of assets

 

 
1,396

Operating income (loss) (5)
$
17,448

 
$
2,363

 
$
(25,597
)
KEY OPERATING STATISTICS:
 
 
 
 
 
Blended asphalt sales volume (tons in thousands) (3)
522

 
451

 
516

Non-blended asphalt sales volume (tons in thousands) (4)
85

 
59

 
65

Blended asphalt sales price per ton (3)
$
398.84

 
$
486.34

 
$
571.18

Non-blended asphalt sales price per ton (4)
146.36

 
231.00

 
397.91

Asphalt margin per ton (5)
98.80

 
105.70

 
43.86

Capital expenditures
$
3,001

 
$
3,385

 
$
5,777

(1)
Net sales and cost of sales include asphalt purchases sold as part of the supply and offtake arrangement of $28,354, $24,988 and $136,818 for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively. The volumes associated with these sales are excluded from the Key Operating Statistics.
(2)
Cost of sales includes intersegment purchases of asphalt blends from our refining and marketing segment at prices which approximate wholesale market prices. These intersegment purchases are eliminated through consolidation of our financial statements.
(3)
Blended asphalt represents base material asphalt that has been blended with other materials necessary to sell the asphalt as a finished product.
(4)
Non-blended asphalt represents base material asphalt and other components that require additional blending before being sold as a finished product.
(5)
Asphalt margin is a per ton measurement calculated by dividing the margin between net sales and cost of sales by the total sales volume. Asphalt margins are used in the asphalt industry to measure operating results related to asphalt sales.
Asphalt margin excludes losses of $1,032 and $8,118 for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively, resulting from a price adjustment related to asphalt inventory. These losses are included in operating income (loss) of the asphalt segment.


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Table of Contents

RETAIL SEGMENT
 
 
 
 
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
(dollars in thousands, except per gallon data)
STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales (1)
$
731,743


$
774,435

 
$
939,684

Operating costs and expenses:



 
 
Cost of sales (2)
588,783


626,903

 
796,356

Selling, general and administrative expenses
114,334


109,943

 
105,556

Depreciation and amortization
13,519


12,431

 
12,241

Total operating costs and expenses
716,636

 
749,277

 
914,153

Gain on disposition of assets
429


72

 
134

Operating income
$
15,536

 
$
25,230

 
$
25,665

KEY OPERATING STATISTICS:
 
 
 
 
 
Number of stores (end of period) (3)
306

 
309

 
295

Retail fuel sales (thousands of gallons)
208,963

 
199,147

 
192,582

Retail fuel sales (thousands of gallons per site per month) (3)
59

 
58

 
57

Retail fuel margin (cents per gallon) (4)
19.8

 
21.3

 
21.6

Retail fuel sales price (dollars per gallon) (5)
$
1.95

 
$
2.24

 
$
3.20

Merchandise sales
$
324,434

 
$
328,505

 
$
322,262

Merchandise sales (per site per month) (3)
$
88

 
$
91

 
$
91

Merchandise margin (6)
31.2
%
 
31.9
%
 
31.4
%
Capital expenditures
$
5,630

 
$
18,993

 
$
16,748

(1)
Includes excise taxes on sales of $81,602, $77,860 and $75,409 for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015 and 2014, respectively.
(2)
Cost of sales includes intersegment purchases of motor fuels from our refining and marketing segment at prices which approximate wholesale market prices. These intersegment purchases are eliminated through consolidation of our financial statements.
(3)
At December 31, 2016, we had 306 retail convenience stores of which 296 sold fuel. At December 31, 2015, we had 309 retail convenience stores of which 298 sold fuel. At December 31, 2014, we had 295 retail convenience stores of which 283 sold fuel.
The 14 retail convenience stores acquired in August 2015 have been included in the per site key operating statistics only for the period after acquisition.
(4)
Retail fuel margin represents the difference between retail fuel sales revenue and the net cost of purchased retail fuel, including transportation costs and associated excise taxes, expressed on a cents-per-gallon basis. Retail fuel margins are frequently used in the retail industry to measure operating results related to retail fuel sales.
(5)
Retail fuel sales price per gallon represents the average sales price for retail fuels sold through our retail convenience stores.
(6)
Merchandise margin represents the difference between merchandise sales revenues and the delivered cost of merchandise purchases, net of rebates and commissions, expressed as a percentage of merchandise sales revenues. Merchandise margins, also referred to as in-store margins, are commonly used in the retail industry to measure in-store, or non-fuel, operating results.


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Table of Contents

Year Ended December 31, 2016 Compared to the Year Ended December 31, 2015
Net Sales
Consolidated. Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $3,913.4 million, compared to $4,338.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $424.8 million, or 9.8%. This decrease was primarily due to lower refined product prices.
Refining and Marketing Segment. Net sales for our refining and marketing segment were $3,240.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $3,664.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $423.8 million, or 11.6%. This decrease was primarily due to lower refined product prices, partially offset by the operations of our California renewable fuels facility.
The average per gallon price of Gulf Coast gasoline for the year ended December 31, 2016 decreased $0.22, or 14.1%, to $1.34, compared to $1.56 for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average per gallon price of Gulf Coast ultra-low sulfur diesel for the year ended December 31, 2016 decreased $0.26, or 16.5%, to $1.32, compared to $1.58 for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average per gallon price for Gulf Coast high sulfur diesel for the year ended December 31, 2016 decreased $0.27, or 18.6%, to $1.18, compared to $1.45 for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Asphalt Segment. Net sales for our asphalt segment were $249.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $258.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $9.0 million, or 3.5%. This decrease was primarily due to lower asphalt sales prices, partially offset by increased asphalt sales volumes. The average blended asphalt sales price decreased 18.0% to $398.84 per ton for the year ended December 31, 2016 from $486.34 per ton for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average non-blended asphalt sales price decreased 36.6% to $146.36 per ton for the year ended December 31, 2016 from $231.00 per ton for the year ended December 31, 2015. The asphalt sales volume increased 19.0% to 607 thousand tons for the year ended December 31, 2016 from 510 thousand tons for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Retail Segment. Net sales for our retail segment were $731.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $774.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $42.7 million, or 5.5%. This decrease was primarily due to lower merchandise sales and lower retail fuel sales prices related to reduced drilling activity in the Permian Basin, partially offset by increased retail fuel sales volumes. Merchandise sales decreased 1.2% to $324.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016 from $328.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average retail fuel sales price decreased 12.9% to $1.95 per gallon for the year ended December 31, 2016 from $2.24 per gallon for the year ended December 31, 2015. Retail fuel sales volumes increased 5.0% to 209.0 million gallons for the year ended December 31, 2016 from 199.1 million gallons for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Cost of Sales
Consolidated. Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $3,376.8 million, compared to $3,515.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $138.6 million, or 3.9%. This decrease was primarily due to lower crude oil prices.
Refining and Marketing Segment. Cost of sales for our refining and marketing segment were $2,905.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $3,034.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $129.0 million, or 4.3%. This decrease was primarily due to lower crude oil prices, partially offset by the operations of our California renewable fuels facility. The average price of WTI Cushing decreased 11.2% to $43.24 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2016 from $48.68 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Asphalt Segment. Cost of sales for our asphalt segment were $190.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $212.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $22.2 million, or 10.5%. This decrease was primarily due to lower cost of purchased asphalt, partially offset by higher asphalt sales volumes and reduced losses related to asphalt inventory price adjustments.
Retail Segment. Cost of sales for our retail segment were $588.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $626.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $38.1 million, or 6.1%. This decrease was primarily due to lower retail fuel costs, partially offset by increased retail fuel sales volumes.
Direct Operating Expenses
Consolidated. Direct operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $262.7 million, compared to $255.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, an increase of $7.2 million, or 2.8%. This increase was primarily due to the operations of our California renewable fuels facility.


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Table of Contents

Refining and Marketing Segment. Direct operating expenses for our refining and marketing segment for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $237.1 million, compared to $227.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, an increase of $9.6 million, or 4.2%. This increase was primarily due to the operations of our California renewable fuels facility.
Asphalt Segment. Direct operating expenses for our asphalt segment for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $25.7 million, compared to $28.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $2.3 million, or 8.2%. This decrease was primarily due to lower fixed operating costs, which was the result of realignment of our asphalt terminal activities to asphalt sales volumes.
Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Consolidated. SG&A expenses for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $194.1 million, compared to $200.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $6.1 million, or 3.0%.
Refining and Marketing Segment. SG&A expenses for our refining and marketing segment for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $68.2 million, compared to $79.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $10.8 million, or 13.7%. This decrease was primarily due to reduced employee related costs.
Asphalt Segment. SG&A expenses for our asphalt segment for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $10.8 million, compared to $10.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, an increase of $0.3 million, or 2.9%.
Retail Segment. SG&A expenses for our retail segment for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $114.3 million, compared to $109.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, an increase of $4.4 million, or 4.0%.
Depreciation and Amortization
Depreciation and amortization for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $145.6 million, compared to $126.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, an increase of $19.1 million, or 15.1%. This increase was primarily due to increased amortization of turnaround and catalyst replacement costs during the year ended December 31, 2016 resulting from the completion of the planned major turnaround at the Krotz Springs refinery during the fourth quarter of 2015 as well as the depreciation related to our California renewable fuels facility.
Operating Income (Loss)
Consolidated. Operating loss for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $(67.4) million, compared to operating income of $203.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $270.8 million. This decrease was primarily due to lower refinery operating margins and the impacts of commodity swaps, partially offset by the operations of our California renewable fuels facility and the goodwill impairment charge of $39.0 million from 2015.
Refining and Marketing Segment. Operating loss for our refining and marketing segment was $(96.9) million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to operating income of $178.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $275.0 million. This decrease was primarily due to lower refinery operating margins and the impacts of commodity swaps, partially offset by the operations of our California renewable fuels facility and the goodwill impairment charge of $39.0 million from 2015. During the year ended December 31, 2016, we recorded gains on commodity swaps of $0.4 million, compared to $59.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Refinery operating margin at the Big Spring refinery was $8.28 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $14.43 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015. This decrease in operating margin was primarily due to a lower Gulf Coast 3/2/1 crack spread, a narrowing of the WTI Cushing to WTI Midland spread and increased RINs costs, partially offset by a widening of the WTI Cushing to WTS spread and an increased benefit from the contango market environment which reduced the cost of crude. The average Gulf Coast 3/2/1 crack spread decreased 25.7% to $12.64 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $17.02 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average WTI Cushing to WTI Midland spread for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $0.15 per barrel, compared to $0.39 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average WTI Cushing to WTS spread for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $0.73 per barrel, compared to $(0.06) per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average Brent to WTI Cushing spread for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $0.21 per barrel, compared to $3.54 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015. The contango environment for the year ended December 31, 2016 created an average cost of crude benefit of $1.24 per barrel compared to an average cost of crude benefit of $1.01 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average RINs cost effect on the Big Spring refinery operating margin was $0.55 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $0.42 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Refinery operating margin at the Krotz Springs refinery was $3.06 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $7.02 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015. This decrease in operating margin was primarily due to a lower Gulf Coast 2/1/1 high sulfur diesel crack spread, a narrowing of both the WTI Cushing to WTI Midland and the LLS to


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Table of Contents

WTI Cushing spreads and increased RINs costs, partially offset by an increased benefit from the contango market environment which reduced the cost of crude. The average Gulf Coast 2/1/1 high sulfur diesel crack spread decreased 26.5% to $7.95 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $10.81 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average LLS to WTI Cushing spread for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $1.70 per barrel, compared to $3.73 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average Brent to LLS spread for the year ended December 31, 2016 was $(1.45) per barrel, compared to $0.14 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015. The average RINs cost effect on the Krotz Springs refinery operating margin was $1.48 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $0.99 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Asphalt Segment. Operating income for our asphalt segment was $17.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $2.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, an increase of $15.0 million. This increase was primarily due to reduced asphalt inventory price adjustments, higher asphalt sales volumes and lower direct operating expenses, partially offset by lower asphalt margins. During the year ended December 31, 2016, we recorded a loss of $(1.0) million resulting from a price adjustment related to asphalt inventory, compared to a loss of $(8.1) million for the year ended December 31, 2015. Asphalt margins for the year ended December 31, 2016 were $98.80 per ton, compared to $105.70 per ton for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Retail Segment. Operating income for our retail segment was $15.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $25.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $9.7 million, or 38.5%. This decrease was primarily due to lower retail fuel margins, lower merchandise sales, lower merchandise margins and increased SG&A expenses primarily related the addition of 14 stores during 2015. Retail fuel margins were 19.8 cents per gallon for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to 21.3 cents per gallon for the year ended December 31, 2015. Merchandise margins were 31.2% for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to 31.9% for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Interest Expense
Interest expense was $69.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $79.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $10.1 million, or 12.7%. This decrease was primarily due to the effect of crude oil prices moving further into contango on our supply and offtake agreements.
Income Tax Expense (Benefit)
Income tax benefit was $(46.8) million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to income tax expense of $48.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. This change in income taxes resulted from the change in pre-tax income to pre-tax loss. Our effective tax rate was 37.0% for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to an effective tax rate of 36.9% for the year ended December 31, 2015.
Net Income Attributable to Non-controlling Interest
Net income attributable to non-controlling interest includes the proportional share of the Partnership’s income attributable to limited partner interests held by the public as well as the proportional share of income from our California renewable fuels facility attributable to the non-affiliate owners. Net income attributable to non-controlling interest was $3.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to $29.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $26.6 million, or 89.9%.
Net Income (Loss) Available to Stockholders
Net loss available to stockholders was $(82.8) million for the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to net income available to stockholders of $52.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, a decrease of $135.6 million. This decrease was attributable to the factors discussed above.
Year Ended December 31, 2015 Compared to the Year Ended December 31, 2014
Net Sales
Consolidated. Net sales for the year ended December 31, 2015 were $4,338.2 million, compared to $6,779.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $2,441.3 million, or 36.0%. This decrease was primarily due to lower refined product prices, partially offset by higher combined refinery throughput.
Refining and Marketing Segment. Net sales for our refining and marketing segment were $3,664.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $5,938.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $2,274.0 million, or 38.3%. This decrease was primarily due to lower refined product prices, partially offset by higher combined refinery throughput for the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to the year ended December 31, 2014.


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Combined refinery average throughput for the year ended December 31, 2015 was 140,036 bpd, consisting of 74,906 bpd at the Big Spring refinery and 65,130 bpd at the Krotz Springs refinery, compared to a combined refinery average throughput of 136,378 bpd for the year ended December 31, 2014, consisting of 66,033 bpd at the Big Spring refinery and 70,345 bpd at the Krotz Springs refinery. During the year ended December 31, 2015, we completed the planned major turnaround at the Krotz Springs refinery, which reduced throughput during the period. During the year ended December 31, 2014, refinery throughput at the Big Spring refinery was reduced as we completed both the planned major turnaround and the vacuum tower project.
Refined product prices decreased during the year ended December 31, 2015 compared to the year ended December 31, 2014. The average per gallon price of Gulf Coast gasoline for the year ended December 31, 2015 decreased $0.93, or 37.3%, to $1.56, compared to $2.49 for the year ended December 31, 2014. The average per gallon price of Gulf Coast ultra-low sulfur diesel for the year ended December 31, 2015 decreased $1.13, or 41.7%, to $1.58, compared to $2.71 for the year ended December 31, 2014. The average per gallon price for Gulf Coast high sulfur diesel for the year ended December 31, 2015 decreased $1.14, or 44.0%, to $1.45, compared to $2.59 for the year ended December 31, 2014.
Asphalt Segment. Net sales for our asphalt segment were $258.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $457.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $199.4 million, or 43.6%. This decrease was primarily due to lower asphalt sales as part of the supply and offtake arrangement of $111.8 million, lower blended asphalt sales volumes and lower blended asphalt sales prices. The blended asphalt sales volume decreased 12.6% to 451 thousand tons for the year ended December 31, 2015 from 516 thousand tons for the year ended December 31, 2014. The average blended asphalt sales price decreased 14.9% to $486.34 per ton for the year ended December 31, 2015 from $571.18 per ton for the year ended December 31, 2014.
Retail Segment. Net sales for our retail segment were $774.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $939.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $165.3 million, or 17.6%. This decrease was primarily due to lower retail fuel sales prices, partially offset by increased retail fuel sales volumes and higher merchandise sales. The average retail fuel sales price decreased 30.0% to $2.24 per gallon for the year ended December 31, 2015 from $3.20 per gallon for the year ended December 31, 2014. Retail fuel sales volumes increased to 199.1 million gallons for the year ended December 31, 2015 from 192.6 million gallons for the year ended December 31, 2014. Merchandise sales increased to $328.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2015 from $322.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2014.
Cost of Sales
Consolidated. Cost of sales for the year ended December 31, 2015 were $3,515.4 million, compared to $6,002.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $2,486.9 million, or 41.4%. This decrease was primarily due to lower crude oil prices, lower blended asphalt sales volumes and lower retail fuel costs, partially offset by higher combined refinery throughput.
Refining and Marketing Segment. Cost of sales for our refining and marketing segment were $3,034.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $5,329.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $2,295.1 million, or 43.1%. This decrease was primarily due to lower crude oil prices, partially offset by higher combined refinery throughput. The average price of WTI Cushing decreased 47.7% to $48.68 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2015 from $93.10 per barrel for the year ended December 31, 2014.
Asphalt Segment. Cost of sales for our asphalt segment were $212.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $431.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $219.7 million, or 50.9%. This decrease was primarily due to decreased blended sales volumes, lower asphalt purchases as part of the supply and offtake arrangement of $111.8 million and lower costs of asphalt.
Retail Segment. Cost of sales for our retail segment were $626.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $796.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $169.5 million, or 21.3%. This decrease was primarily due to lower retail fuel costs, partially offset by higher retail fuel sales volumes and merchandise costs.
Direct Operating Expenses
Consolidated. Direct operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2015 were $255.5 million, compared to $281.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $26.2 million, or 9.3%.
Refining and Marketing Segment. Direct operating expenses for our refining and marketing segment for the year ended December 31, 2015 were $227.5 million, compared to $241.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $14.3 million, or 5.9%. This decrease was primarily due to lower utility costs.
Asphalt Segment. Direct operating expenses for our asphalt segment for the year ended December 31, 2015 were $28.0 million, compared to $39.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, a decrease of $11.9 million, or 29.8%. This decrease was the result of a reduction in our fixed operating costs to better align our asphalt operations to asphalt sales volumes.


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Selling, General and Administrative Expenses
Consolidated. SG&A expenses for the year ended December 31, 2015 were $200.2 million, compared to $170.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, an increase of $30.1 million, or 17.7%. This increase was primarily due to higher employee related costs, including employee retention costs and higher professional fees associated with recoveries from third parties that reduced cost of sales and income tax expense.
Refining and Marketing Segment. SG&A expenses for our refining and marketing segment for the year ended December 31, 2015 were $79.0 million, compared to $56.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, an increase of $23.0 million, or 41.1%. This increase was primarily due to higher employee related costs, including employee retention costs, and higher professional fees.
Asphalt Segment. SG&A expenses for our asphalt segment for the year ended December 31, 2015 were $10.5 million, compared to $7.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, an increase of $2.6 million, or 32.9%. This increase was primarily due to higher professional fees, partially offset by reduced employee related costs.
Retail Segment. SG&A expenses for our retail segment for the year ended December 31, 2015 were $109.9 million, compared to $105.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, an increase of $4.3 million, or 4.1%. This increase was primarily due to higher employee related costs including the increase in costs due to the addition of 14 stores.
Depreciation and Amortization
Depreciation and amortization for the year ended December 31, 2015 was $126.5 million, compared to $124.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, an increase of $2.4 million, or 1.9%.
Operating Income