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US refinery capacity increased at the start of 2023 for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to the annual 'Refinery Capacity Report' by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), US refining capacity increased by 0.6% at the start of 2023, compared to the start of 2022.

US operable atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity, the primary measure of refinery capacity, totalled 18.1 million barrels per calendar day (bpd) at the start of 2023, up by 117 000 bpd from 17.9 million bpd at the start of 2022.

The number of operable refineries in the US, including both idle and operating refineries, decreased to 129 refineries at the beginning of 2023, down from 130 refineries at the beginning of 2022. The single refinery closure reflects the loss of a small facility in Santa Maria, California, US.

Despite the loss of this plant, overall capacity increased because PBF Energy reactivated a previously retired crude oil distillation unit at its Paulsboro, New Jersey, US, refinery. The unit’s crude oil capacity increased from 100 000 bpd in 2022 to 160 000 bpd in 2023. Minor capacity increases reported by refineries in Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas also contributed to the annual increase in 2023, compared with 2022.

The 2023 ‘Refinery Capacity Report’ does not reflect changes in US refining capacity that were not in effect as of 1 January 2023.

As refinery inputs increased more than refinery capacity increased, annual refinery utilisation in 2022 rose to 92%, the highest annual level since 2018. The increase also puts 2022 utilisation slightly above pre-pandemic averages, as refiners increased production to offset lost supplies of petroleum products from Russia in both US and European markets.

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Downstream news US refinery news