US refiners ready to process growing oil supply

March 23, 2015

Oil production in the United States is growing as a result of advanced drilling techniques, but U.S. refiners have more than enough processing capacity to handle the increased supply.

Oil production in the United States is growing as a result of advanced drilling techniques, but U.S. refiners have more than enough processing capacity to handle the increased supply. That's according to a new survey of U.S. refiners commissioned by trade association AFPM, which represents fuel and petrochemical manufacturers.

The survey, carried out by Veris Consulting among AFPM members, sought to discover their plans and capability to handle light crude oil through 2016. A total of 23 companies were questioned, providing information on 69 refineries, representing 61 percent of U.S. refining capacity in 2014.

The refiners revealed that they are planning to run over 730,000 barrels per day more very light crude oil in 2016 than they did last year. With more favorable access and economics, they have the capability to run as much as 1.5 million barrels more per day of the new crude oil in 2016 compared to 2014.

AFPM noted that this does not take into consideration the 40 percent of the industry not represented in the survey, and said it is clear the U.S. industry as a whole is planning to run even more volumes of light crude oil than reported by the respondents.

The February forecast published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicated that lower 48 crude production, which includes light tight oil production, will increase by 720,000 barrels per day in 2015, Reuters reported.

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