May 5, 2011 – Frontier Oil Corporation (NYSE: FTO) today announced record first quarter results. For the quarter ended March 31, 2011, the Company earned net income of $139.9 million, or $1.32 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $40.3 million, or $0.39 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2010. First quarter 2011 results benefited from an increase in refinery throughput and improvements in crude oil differentials and product margins, due largely to the growing crude oil inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma and surrounding areas.
Frontier’s average diesel crack spread increased to $25.53 per barrel in the first quarter of 2011, up from $7.41 per barrel in the same period of 2010, and the average gasoline crack spread improved to $15.43 per barrel in the most recent quarter, compared to $6.37 per barrel in the first quarter of 2010. The Company’s average light/heavy differential improved to $18.60 per barrel in the first quarter of 2011, compared to $4.91 per barrel in the same period of 2010. The WTI/WTS spread improved to an average $3.58 per barrel in the most recent quarter, from $1.77 per barrel in the first quarter of 2010.
Frontier’s total crude charges for the first quarter of 2011 averaged 175,796 barrels per day (“bpd”), up from 159,514 bpd in the first quarter of 2010, partially due to the improved economic incentive to maximize throughput during the most recent period. With these increases in throughput, Frontier’s combined refinery operating expenses, excluding depreciation, were reduced to $4.24 per barrel in the most recent quarter, compared to $4.44 per barrel in the first quarter of 2010.
Frontier’s Chairman, President and CEO, Mike Jennings, commented, “We are extremely pleased with our record quarterly results and with the strength of refining margins continuing into the second quarter. The product crack spreads are the best we have seen since our record results in 2007. In addition, Frontier’s results continue to benefit from midcontinent crude supply that exceeds takeaway capacity and from the ability to process a variable crude slate including large quantities of heavy and sour crudes. The average barrel of crude processed at our refineries in the first quarter priced more than $7 less than a WTI barrel and more than $20 less than a coastal light/sweet crude barrel such as Light Louisiana Sweet (LLS). While these crude differentials were historically unprecedented, we expect to continue to benefit from our close proximity to expanding crude production from the continued development of shale plays in the Rocky Mountains and midcontinent as well as growth from the Canadian oil sands.”