As an overall subsector, refining and marketing turned in a remarkable 2012, with Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX), Tesoro (NYSE:TSO), and HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) returning 60% to 80% for shareholders. One thing all these top-performing refiners have in common is their close location to cheap WTI crude feed stock. While the WTI-Brent price differentiation won't last indefinitely, the mid-continent refiners are sprucing up their operations now to return profits to shareholders going forward.
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