Watch: U.S. refinery capacity increases for the first time since the pandemic

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) informs that U.S. refining capacity increased slightly for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, as of January 1, 2023, reversing two years of decline, according to its annual Refinery Capacity Report.

Operable atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity, EIA’s primary measure of refinery capacity in the United States, totaled 18.1 million barrels per calendar day (b/cd), a 1% increase from 2022.

According to EIA, the number of operable refineries in the United States decreased to 129 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, that had 9,500 b/cd of crude oil distillation capacity.

Despite the loss of the Santa Maria plant, total U.S. capacity increased because PBF Energy reactivated a previously retired crude oil distillation unit at its refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey. The unit’s crude oil capacity increased from 100,000 b/cd in 2022 to 160,000 b/cd in 2023.

The 2023 Refinery Capacity Report does not reflect changes in U.S. refining capacity after January 1, 2023.

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