BP’s US refineries cut production rates as demand plummets

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Limited storage of refined products has forced BP to reduce refining rates at its three largest refineries in the United States to 80-85%, fuel demand plummeting amid blockages and home orders, reported Reuters Thursday, citing sources with knowledge of the refinery’s operations.

Sources told Reuters last week that BP reduced refinery operating rates at its refinery by 430,000 bpd in Whiting, Indiana, the 242,000 bpd refinery in Cherry Point, Washington, and the refinery 155,000 bpd in the Toledo, Ohio refinery due to weak demand from American consumers.

The oil majors began to reduce operating rates for refineries in the United States in late March, when states began to take steps to smooth the curve of coronavirus case numbers. US supertanker ExxonMobil slashed operating rates at its second refinery in the United States, Baton Rouge in Louisiana, after a drop in storage tanks filled with fuel demand, sources familiar with the operations said. the 502,500 b / d refinery.

Despite low gasoline prices, fuel demand in the United States and around the world is being hit hard as people are invited or forced to stay at home as countries fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In the United States, demand for oil is expected to fall in the coming weeks, with cities locked up, businesses and non-essential services closed, and people asked to work from home whenever possible.

Meanwhile, gasoline inventories in the United States continue to climb, along with the buildup of crude oil inventories. In the last week of reporting, until April 3, US oil stocks rose 15.2 million barrels, EIA said Wednesday, a week after reporting the largest build-up in oil stocks since 2016. The EIA also reported that gasoline inventories had increased by 10.5 million barrels and distilled fuel inventories had added 476,000 barrels. This compares to a 7.5 million barrel increase in gasoline stocks the previous week and a 2.2 million barrel drop in distilled fuel inventory.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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