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US Refiners May Struggle to Help Europe

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The US downstream sector is under pressure and will remain so through May, potentially limiting supplies of refined product at a key time for the global market. Robust margins last year led refiners to delay some maintenance projects, which means turnaround season this spring is much heavier than usual, with estimates running as high as 1.4 million barrels per day offline. Maintenance comes on the heels of a slew of outages, some of them related to recent severe weather, and others — such as BP’s Toledo, Ohio facility — longer-lasting. Those unplanned outages in turn come in the wake of a massive rationalization of downstream capacity in North America, with the US alone losing some 1 million b/d in throughput capacity since mid-2019. Government data paint a bleak picture for utilization; December 2022 started at an average 92.2% nationwide, hit a trough of 79.6% by the end of the month, and is 86.1% now, some 1.5 points below the same time last year.

Topics:
Oil Products, Oil Trade, Diesel/Gasoil, Ukraine Crisis, Refining
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