A combination of changes to crude slates, weaker consumption of secondary feedstocks, and the simple factor of strong margins and spare capacity can be used to explain very high US refinery utilisation (see Global Refinery Margins – Issue 18).

  • A simple addition of maximum capacity in each PADD, alongside recent capacity additions, mean runs could rise to as high as 17.8 million b/d this summer.
  • However, we find it very difficult to balance global products at this level and would favour intake averaging only slightly over 17 million b/d this summer.
  • There is nevertheless strong potential for brief periods of high intake to do damage to Atlantic basin refinery margins this summer.