Following three weeks of steady improvement, U.S. crude runs recessed during the week that ended November 25. PADDs 1, 4 and 5 were responsible for the decline, as crude runs were higher in PADDs 2 and 3.

The PADD 3 numbers are a bit surprising, as we expected the unplanned refinery outage at Marathon’s Galveston Bay facility in Texas to limit crude throughput. As it stands, though, PADD 3 crude runs moved higher and have remained steady at the top of the seasonal range that was reached at this time last year. As we move into December, if unplanned outages stay away, we expect crude runs in the Gulf Coast region to remain at the top of the historical range that was established in 2015.

PADD 5 crude runs fell due to unplanned fluid catalytic cracker unit (FCCU) outage at Shell’s Puget Sound, Washington, refinery. The West Coast should see drastic improvement in the next two weeks, though, as startup procedures begin at Chevron’s Richmond refinery in California. The biggest refinery in PADD 5 has been offline since the beginning of October for planned work.

PADD 1 throughput took a step back but remains near the top of the range for this time of year.

Crude runs in the Midwest have been mostly steady over the past four weeks, but in the coming weeks should improve in line with the trend over the last two years, as the crude distillation unit (CDU) and FCCU at BP’s Whiting, Indiana, refinery come back online.

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