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Israel's Oil Refineries posts Q4 loss as crude drops

Israel's Oil Refineries said it moved to a net loss in the fourth quarter, as lower fuel prices weighed on its bottom line.

Oil Refineries, Israel's biggest refinery, posted a quarterly net loss of $182 million, compared with a profit of $18 million a year earlier.

Oil Refineries said that the steep fall in crude oil prices last year lowered the value of its unhedged inventory of crude oil.

It noted that since the end of 2008, crude prices have risen by about 37% and that would book a gain of $85 million in the first quarter.

Oil Refineries said that its refining margin amounted to $5.7 a barrel in 2008, or $41.4 million a ton, compared with the average Reuters' quoted Mediterranean Ural Cracking Margin of $5.5 and down from $6.1 in 2007. (Reuters)