Delta Airlines Buys Oil Refinery

AP) — Delta Air Lines is buying a refinery from a company being spun off from ConocoPhillips. Delta is seeking to reduce its jet-fuel bill by $300 million a year. Here is a closer look at the deal:

Q: Why is Delta buying the refinery?

A: Fuel is the largest and most volatile expense for airlines. By owning a refinery, Delta is ensuring itself a steady supply of fuel and possibly more control over sudden price swings. The airline's planes burned through 3.9 billion gallons of fuel last year, costing the airline $11.8 billion — 36 percent of its operating expenses.....

Q: Could this benefit drivers?

A: Yes. If Delta hadn't bought the refinery, ConocoPhillips would have likely closed it. That would have further reduced supplies along the East Coast.. Gas stations would have made up for the difference by buying more gasoline and diesel from far-away refineries in the Gulf Coast and United Kingdom. The longer distances could raise the risk of supply delays and other problems following major storms that disrupt shipping. That could cause price spikes at the pump.