Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2013 (Revised June 2014)

Valero Energy Corporation and Tight Oil

by Richard H.K. Vietor, Eric Adamson, Aaron Byrd, Ned Chiverton, Mariko Meier and Rob Rain


Valero Energy, an incredibly successful US refiner, needs to make some decisions about tight oil. As production of light tight oil increases—from Eagle Ford, Bakken and elsewhere—Valero considers whether to add topping capacity to handle it, on top of its recent investments for heavy oil. Political decisions, however, are pending on Keystone XL, on crude oil exports, and on LNG exports. Prices, therefore, are up in the air, especially as global capacity increases. Petrochemical companies and oil producers have conflicting views on the appropriate policy. Bill Klesse, the CEO, can either sit back and wait, or move to capture greater market share.

Keywords: petroleum; oil & gas; energy; environment; refining; globalization; tight oil; strategy; Natural Environment; Demand and Consumers; Supply and Industry; Policy; Energy Sources; Energy Industry; United States;


Vietor, Richard H.K., Eric Adamson, Aaron Byrd, Ned Chiverton, Mariko Meier, and Rob Rain. "Valero Energy Corporation and Tight Oil." Harvard Business School Case 713-083, June 2013. (Revised June 2014.)