The spring turnaround season at U.S. refineries is already here. More surprisingly, refineries have seen a massive, 865,000-barrel-per-day drop in crude throughput during a single reporting period.

Timing is everything, though, and just as PADD 3 was set to begin its "peak" week for planned maintenance, several other regions were hit with unplanned outages. The "polar vortex" in PADD 2 sent crude runs tumbling 336,000 barrels per day, while unplanned events at two Chevron refineries on the West Coast dropped PADD 5 crude runs by 192,000 barrels per day.

On the East Coast, the fire-stricken Delaware City Refinery further reduced PADD 1 runs, and the region already had been limited by a planned shutdown at Girard Point. In a non-hurricane-related week, things throughout the US are just about as bad as they can get. So where’s the good news?

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