Alarm bells rang alongside the US Japanese Seaboard not too long ago that the area would face gas shortages resulting from refinery closures within the area, but the dynamics modified with the entrance of some new players as well as domestic crude supply through rail from the Bakken Shale play.
The area is examine in contrasts in a matter of a few short years. A few years ago, it seemed three main plants may shut: the then Sunoco-owned refineries in Marcus Hook and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the then ConocoPhillips-owned Coach, Pennsylvania, refinery. All that came amid Hess and associate PDVSA initially scaling back operations of the Hovensa refinery on St. Croix, which exported to the US Atlantic Coast, to 350,000 b/d in 2011 before shutting it in January 2012.
The US Energy Data Administration focused on the potential downside in an preliminary report in late 2011 that was updated in the spring of last 12 months. One thrust was EIA noting that if the Philadelphia, Marcus Hook and Trainer plants went offline, that will outcome within the loss of 50% of East Coast refining capability (as of August 2011).
However, Philadelphia Energy Options now runs the 330,000 b/d Philadelphia refinery while a subsidiary of Delta Airways runs the 185,000 b/d Trainer refinery, having bought it in June 2012 to recalibrate the plant to produce more jet fuel. Coach also provides refined products to Phillips sixty six and BP. The 175,000 b/d Marcus Hook refinery was idled at the tip of 2011 and now serves as a Sunoco Logistics tank farm storing gasoline and middle distillates.
Whereas some refineries have stopped producing fuel within the region Hess70,000 FCC plant in Port Studying, New Jersey, Sunoco 140,000 b/d Eagle Level refinery in Westville, N.J., and the then Western Refining-owned 128,000 b/d Yorktown, Virginia, refinery (all three now function terminals) the net result has hardly been devastating, on condition that the 2 Philly biggies stayed online.
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The latest EIA weekly oil knowledge recorded a record-utilization price for East Coast refining capacity at 93.8%. And, the overall crude processing capacity was 1.293 million b/d. Compare that with the 1.397 million b/d for the week ended July sixteen, 2010, when the prior utilization rate report was hit at 93.2%. (2010 was the primary yr this regional utilization knowledge point was tracked in the weekly report.). So, as a substitute of dropping half its capability, the area noticed its capacity notch down by all of a hundred,000 b/d.
East Coast web imports of refined products averaged 1.055 million b/d over the 4 weeks ending Could 10, practically flat to the comparable interval last 12 months. Three years in the past that quantity was around 1.5 million b/d.
In fact, the important thing indicator for adequacy of provide is stock. East Coast whole motor gasoline stocks rose by 1.805 million barrels to sixty three.348 million barrels over the reporting week ending May 10, comfortably nicely above the five-12 months average. East Coast distillates stocks slipped that week to 35 million barrels, staying in the low-finish of their five-12 months average.
Demand, meanwhile, just isn what it used to be. EIA newest monthly stats for the East Coast present finished motor gasoline demand in February registered at 2.775 million b/d, which is down 9.28% yr on 12 months.
The opposite key change is the availability of so-referred to as advantaged crude, the domestic provide being railed in from the Bakken. For instance, PBF said earlier this 12 months that it expects to enjoy strong margins from running Bakken and Canadian heavy crudes at its 180,000 b/d refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey, and its 190,000 b/d refinery in Delaware Metropolis, Delaware. Different major regional refineries are making ready to bring in Bakken crude.
All these elements combined in comparatively short order to upend the image. Again when EIA was wanting on the East Coast refining sector issues, there was a fair amount of uncertainty at play, recalls Joanne Shore, the chief industry analyst on the American Gas & Petrochemicals Manufacturers trade group and a former EIA analyst. The growth of Bakken oil production is exceeding past anticipations and the speed with which rail facilities could be put in place on the East Coast may not have been beforehand appreciated, she mentioned in an interview earlier this week.