USA Refinery Capacity Drops  | Rigzone

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U.S. refinery capacity dropped in 2022, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest annual refinery capacity report.

The report, which was released on Tuesday and includes data for January 1, 2022, revealed that operable atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity came in at 17.94 million barrels per day in 2022, compared to 18.08 million barrels per day in 2021. This figure stood at 18.97 million barrels per day in 2020, 18.80 million barrels per day in 2019, 18.59 million barrels per day in 2018, and 18.61 million barrels per day in 2017. The 2020 figure is the highest on record, according to EIA data stretching back to 1982.

Operating atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity was shown to have hit 17.78 million barrels per day in 2022, with idle atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity coming in at 154,800 barrels per day. In 2021, operating atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity was 17.68 million barrels per day, while idle atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity was 408,100 barrels per day.

The total number of operable refineries in 2022 was 130, with 125 operating and five idle, according to the latest EIA data. The total number of operable refineries in 2021 was 129, with 124 operating and five idle, the EIA highlighted.

The EIA’s next refinery capacity report is scheduled to be released in June 2023. In its latest short term energy outlook, the EIA noted that U.S. refinery utilization averages 94 percent in the third quarter of 2022 in its forecast as a result of high wholesale product margins.

“Despite our expectation that refinery utilization will be at or near the highest levels in the past five years, operable refinery capacity is about 900,000 barrels per day less than at the end of 2019, and as a result, we do not expect total refinery output of products to reach its highest level in the past five years,” the EIA stated in its latest short term energy outlook.

“Although we expect high refinery utilization will help bring wholesale margins down from record levels,” the EIA added in the outlook.

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