The U.S. Refineries Are Facing Crude Oil Shortage

A shortage of heavy crude has limited U.S. refiners from profiting from stronger margins ahead of the new sulfur emission guidelines of the International Maritime Organizations, which will enter into effect next January.

S&P World Platts reports a narrowed unfold between the prices of sunshine candy crude and substantial sour grades ensuing from the availability crunch within the latter has pressured refiners’ margin. But there’s a silver lining: the stress might be momentary, in response to S&P Global Platts, with the unfold widening again after IMO 2020 guidelines enter into impact. The reason would most likely be the lower demand for heavier crudes.

“We continue to navigate using the narrow light-heavy differentials, the continued OPEC cuts, sanctions on Venezuela and Iran and the Alberta curtailment limiting provider of economic medium and heavy barrels accessible in the marketplace,” mentioned the chief government of refiner PBF during the firm’s earnings name. “This has put pressure on advanced refineries as we not at present rewarded for complexity,”

Complex refineries need both light and substantial crude oil grades to provide fuels and different derivatives, whereas more essential services can solely function with gentle crude, of which there’s abundance in America. Nonetheless, their product line is much less intensive than the product line of complex refineries, so most refineries along the Gulf Coast are of the sophisticated selection that needs heavy crude.

In its recently launched World Oil Review report, Italy’s Eni said that because of the U.S. shale boom, the portion of sunshine candy crude grades on worldwide markets increased to greater than 20 % last year. On the identical time, due to U.S. sanctions towards Venezuela and declining manufacturing in Mexico, the portion of medium bitter crudes fell beneath 40 % of the full for the first time. IMO 2020 guidelines are widely expected to pressure demand for heavy oil.