Skip to comments.January 2011 U.S. refining capacity was the highest in 29 years
Posted on 07/15/2011 8:33:14 AM PDT by thackney
Atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity at U.S. refineries was 17.7 million barrels per day at the beginning of 2011 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Refinery Capacity Report. Capacity, which was 0.15 million barrels per day above its level at the start of 2010, reached the highest level recorded since 1982. Since 2001, total net U.S. refinery capacity grew by more than 1 million barrels per day.
Nearly half (49%) of U.S. refinery distillation capacity is located in the Gulf Coast region, which is Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) 3, up from 46% in 2001. Most expansions of refinery distillation capacity have taken place at the larger refineries and most of these large refineries are located in PADD 3. The regional distribution of U.S. refinery distillation capacity outside of PADD 3 at the beginning of 2011 was 9% on the East Coast (PADD 1), 21% in the Midwest (PADD 2), 4% in the Rocky Mountains region (PADD 4), and 18% on the West Coast (PADD 5).
The last major brand new U.S. refinery started operating in 1977 at Garyville, Louisiana. Since then, distillation capacity expansions have come from construction of relatively small refineries and expansion of existing plants. Decreases in refinery distillation capacity resulted mostly from plants that were shut down. In recent years, some refineries have temporarily ceased operation for economic reasons but continue to be counted as operable capacity if they can be returned to service within 30 days.
Any idea what percentage of that capacity is being utilized?
Personally, I use 100% of the fuel I buy.
Any idea how much of the crude is domestic, and how much is imported?
January? It’s July. Hello..? What are we doing in July? What did we do last month? January matters to me how? =.=
“Most expansions of refinery distillation capacity have taken place at the larger refineries and most of these large refineries are located in PADD 3.”
The greens have made it near impossible to build a refinery. Only established refineries with the $$$ to get the permits can expand. Imagine how much cheaper refined oil products would be if small refineries could start up and compete.
I remember before 1993, we ran excess Light Cycle Oil and N2FO into the crude pool. We couldn’t get rid of it.
It is when the formal data is annually collected. The latest reported capacity as of April has continued to increase slightly and can be found below.
U. S. Monthly Operable Crude Oil Distillation Capacity
There are a number of quite small refineries that operate today and I know of another being built in Utah.
But the reality is the greatest efficiencies and cheapest refining typically occurs at the larger refineries. I have been on the engineering design team of a few and there are some energy recovery methods that can be used but get relatively expensive when constructed on a small scale.
Thanks for the link. One last stupid question. What is the optimal percentage utilization for a refinery or does it vary?
But keep in mind some natural gas liquids are also used in the refinery process, but a small percentage of the total.
The real stupid questions are the ones you wanted to know but didn't bother to ask.
What is the optimal percentage utilization for a refinery or does it vary?
Optimal? 100% but that isn't going to be reality for 150 refineries on average. You always have some units down maintenance, planned upgrades and expansions, unplanned problems, etc. See post #10 for our running average.
So really 100% is the target, but is rarely met. Accurate statement?
True. The ability to get anothing as complex as a refinery at 100% is unlikely when you look at a large group of them together.
Individually, is certainly happens but over time ~90% is expected.
The most economical means of increasing overall production is removing bottlenecks and expanding existing refineries. That takes some downtime but is still cheaper in the long run.
Anthing to justify another bump on the thread.
Always appreciate your informed view on petroleum issues.