U.S. crude oil throughput increased by more than 300,000 barrels per day (BBL/d) for the second week in a row during the week that ended November 11, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). The big increase came in PADD 3, where the Gulf Coast is recovering from fall refinery maintenance.

PADD 3 crude runs are now above last year’s level and should continue to increase as refineries return from maintenance. IIR research trackings indicate that another 167,000 BBL/d of crude distillation unit (CDU) capacity should return by the week that ends Friday, November 18, which should push Gulf Coast crude runs higher, and along the trend that was established at this time last year.

PADD 5 crude runs also improved, but remains plagued by heavy refinery turnarounds at Chevron’s Richmond refinery and Phillips 66’s Carson refinery. The West Coast should see some improvement during the week of November 18 due to the restart at Carson, but we will have to wait until early December for the Richmond restart to appear in the Department of Energy statistics.

East Coast crude runs were slowed by fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) outages at Trainer and Point Breeze, but both should be resolved by the next DOE reporting week.

PADD 2 crude runs are flying high following a rather mild fall turnaround season. This reporting week marks the second week where crude runs in the Midwest were well above the historical high. BP’s Whiting refinery will need to fully recover in the next two reporting weeks to challenge the fall/winter seasonal high, which was nearly identically matched in 2014 and 2015.

The lack of maintenance in PADD 4 has allowed the region to move back toward a seasonal high for crude runs.

IIR Energy is a market research and data company that specializes in delivering real-time market intelligence to energy traders, marketers and business development professionals around the world. Our mission is to keep our customers connected to the most relevant fact-based industry intelligence so that they can make decisive trading decisions.

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