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U.S. To Lose 2.5M BPD In Refining Capacity This Maintenance Season

Fall refinery maintenance in the United States will see almost 2.5 million barrels per day of capacity taken offline, Bloomberg reports, with more capacity cuts possibly coming early next year. 

In what Bloomberg describes as the “heaviest” maintenance season since before the COVID-19 pandemic, between September and December this year, the U.S. will lose nearly 2.5 million bpd of refining capacity, citing data from Energy Aspects LTD. 

That 2.5 million bpd represents an 11% hike in offline capacity compared to the same period in 2022.

Refining capacity reductions come as the Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases data showing that U.S. petroleum product exports hit nearly 6 million bpd in the first half of this year, up 2% from the same period of 2022. 

Despite the increase, the EIA notes that petroleum productions “grew more slowly in the first half of 2023 than in the first half of 2022, when they quickly rose to meet increased demand in Europe after the region took measures to reduce petroleum product imports from Russia.”

Of those increases in H1 2023, propane was the “most-exported”, averaging 1.5 million barrels per day. For the past four years, the EIA says propane exports have been behind the increases in overall U.S. petroleum product exports, particularly with exports to Asia and secondarily to Central and South America. 

At the same time, while oil refining will take a hit during maintenance season, GlobalData has revealed that North America is expected to “witness a renewable refinery production capacity of 13,142 million gallons per year in 2027”, dominating the renewable refining scene and followed by Europe and Asia.

“The global demand for renewable refinery fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel is on the rise. This escalating demand has prompted significant capacity expansions, particularly in regions such as North America, Asia, and Europe,” GlobalData oil and gas analyst Bhargavi Gandham said. 

By Josh Owens for Oilprice.com 

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  • Ian St. John on October 04 2023 said:
    Shutting down refineries and limiting them is how they restrict supply to increase prices. In a competitive world, there would be enough refinery capacity to supply the country while a few at a time were in maintenance mode.

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