Tuesday, November 15, 2016

U.S. Refiners Feel the Squeeze as Crude Oil Discount Disappears, Loss of cheap shale crude has removed a key advantage vs. overseas rivals

U.S Refineries have been suffering financially due to the loss of cheap crude oil, which they can blend into fuels to be sold at price linked to the global benchmark.  East coast plants in the US are being overwhelmed with completion from overseas and efficient gulf coast plants. “East Coast refiners are now operating in the same difficult environment that lead to closures between 2009 and 2012” said sally Fielden, director of oil and products research at Morningstar.  Delta Airlines purchased a refinery in Philadelphia in 2012, “claiming that they would be able to save $2 to $3 a barrel by bringing in 70,000 barrels of oil a day from North Dakota.” Yet, Delta Airlines is expected to lose $ 100 million this year with this investment. Other refineries in the Philadelphia, such as Phillips 66 and PBF Energy Inc., are also reporting a significant decrease in profit margin from a year ago. The federal government had lifted the ban on exporting crude oil, which allow for US producers to sell of excess product. Last year, for the first time in ten year the daily crude imports increased and now most recent data from August 2016 shows crude imports have now drop 66%. The crude oil market is extremely frustrating.  Working for an barge transportation company moving oil, gas and chemicals I sent the volatility of the market on daily basis.  Looking at the East coast business, it has slow down drastically over the last year. Crude oil comes and goes for 3 month period. We will be moving 180,000 barrels of crude oil on a regular basis and then it stop, but 6 month later we are moving it again.


  1. The loss of cheap crude oil will have effects that will be felt in all sectors of the economy. This means that the prices of crude oil will go up as demand is high and supply is low. Oil prices drive economies and geopolitics. Having high prices will cause people to look for alternative sources of energy leading to innovation in the country. Therefore it is important to note that lack of cheap crude oil will have profound effects around the world whit potential to destabilize governments.

  2. I wonder what the long-term economic impact of this will be...