WASHINGTON, DC, March 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Given the debate over domestic refiners' ability to handle the growing U.S. oil supply, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) today released a third-party survey of U.S. refiners. It found that U.S. refiners have more than enough processing capacity for the increased influx of light sweet crude oil over the next few years. Survey respondents represent a majority of U.S. refining capacity.
"With the results of today's survey, we know without a doubt that our refiners are ready and able to process the increasing U.S. supply of light sweet crude," said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna. "The domestic energy renaissance is boosting our economy and benefitting our national security, and our refining industry – the world's largest and most advanced – which is fully capable of handling this production growth over the next few years."
A total of 23 companies provided information on 69 refineries, representing 61 percent of U.S. refining capacity in 2014. The survey found that the respondents are planning to run more than 730,000 barrels per day more very light crude oil in 2016 than last year, and with more favorable access and economics, they have the capability to run 1.5 million barrels more per day of the new crude oil in 2016 than what they ran in 2014. And this does not take into consideration the plans and potential for 40 percent of the capacity not represented in the survey. EIA's February forecast shows lower 48 crude production, which encompasses this light tight oil production, increasing 720,000 barrels per day – less than the respondents' plans.
U.S. production averaged almost 8.7 million barrels per day in 2014, a 73 percent increase over 2008 when production was around 5 million barrels per day. Much of the recent increase has come from geological structures called tight oil formations, and the crude is very light and sweet.
However, over the past 30 years, many U.S. refiners have added capacity for processing heavy sour crude. This apparent disparity has been the source of confusion over refiners' capacity to process the increasing volume of new light crude.
AFPM's members represent virtually all U.S. refining and petrochemical manufacturing. With almost 40 percent of the industry unrepresented in the survey, it is clear the U.S. industry in total is planning to run even more volumes of light, sweet crude than reported by the respondents.
Veris Consulting, a third-party contractor, conducted the voluntary survey (data was collected November-December 2014) of AFPM members to determine their plans and capability to handle the new, light sweet crude through 2016.
AFPM, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers is a trade association representing high-tech American manufacturers of virtually the entire U.S. supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, other fuels and home heating oil, as well as the petrochemicals used as building blocks for thousands of vital products in daily life. AFPM members make modern life possible and keep America moving and growing as they meet the needs of our nation and local communities, strengthen economic and national security, and support 2 million American jobs.
Source: American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers