US refining rates sank under Harvey floodwaters
Houston, 7 September (Argus) — US refining rates plummeted by 18.4pc last week and gasoline and distillate inventories drained in the first weekly Energy Information Administration report to capture Hurricane Harvey's full impact on the US energy industry.
US refining rates fell by 3.3mn b/d to 14.5mn b/d in the week ended 1 September, the lowest production level since March 2013. US Gulf coast refiners cut rates by 40pc to 6.2mn b/d, that region's lowest crude throughput since September 2008.
Harvey shut or reduced rates at roughly 5mn b/d of Texas and Louisiana refining capacity — about 27.5pc of all US crude processing — and forced port closures, stalling crude imports and product exports. Pipelines shut for flooding or lack of product reduced product supply into the midcontinent and US southeast.
Total US gasoline inventories fell by 1.4pc, or 3.2mn bl, to 226.7mn bl. US Atlantic coast inventories fell by 3.5pc to 60.5mn bl and midcontinent stockpiles fell by 1.9pc to 51.2mn bl.
National distillate inventories sank by 1.4mn bl, or by roughly 1pc, to 147.8mn bl, mostly on a 2mn bl draw on US Atlantic coast stockpiles to 51.7mn bl.
Atlantic coast ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) stockpiles fell by 2.1mn bl, or by 4.7pc, to 42.6mn bl.
US gasoline exports plunged by 56.7pc to 319,000 b/d and distillates fell by 34.2pc to 738,000 b/d.
The US exported 441,000 b/d of gasoline and 249,000 b/d of diesel to Mexico in June, the latest month for which EIA figures are available.