U.S. refinery runs are expected to reduce, for the first time in ten years, to the average level of 17.0 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2019, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Friday.
U.S. gross inputs to refineries, also known as refinery runs, have increased each year since 2009, most recently reaching a record high of 17.3 million b/d in 2018. U.S. refinery runs typically reach their highest points in the summer, when demand for petroleum products (especially motor gasoline) tends to peak. So far in 2019, weekly refinery runs have averaged 17 million b/d through Aug. 9, or 1.4 percent lower than during the same period in 2018.
Despite their overall lower rate, weekly refinery runs surpassed 18 million b/d in the week ending Aug. 2, a level achieved only seven times in the past decade.
However, based on its monthly refinery run data through May and forecast for the remainder of 2019, EIA expected refinery runs to decline and average 17 million b/d in 2019.
In its August Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA expected U.S. refinery runs to average 17 million b/d in 2019, and to average 17.6 million b/d in 2020 because of increases in both refining capacity and utilization.
U.S. refinery capacity was at a record high of 18.8 million barrels per calendar day as of Jan. 1, 2019. EIA’s annual Refinery Capacity Report showed that U.S. refining capacity will not expand significantly during 2019.—Xinhu