U.S. refinery capacity increased slightly for the first time since the global pandemic to reverse two years of declines, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration in its annual Refinery Capacity Report published July 25. As of Jan. 1, 2023, the operable atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity – the EIA’s primary measure of refinery capacity in the U.S. – totaled 18.1 million barrels per calendar day (1 percent increase from 2022).
EIA publishes two measures of U.S. refinery capacity: barrels per calendar day and barrels per stream day. Calendar day capacity represents the operator’s estimate of input that a distillation unit can process over a 24-hour period under usual operating conditions. Stream day capacity reflects maximum input that a distillation facility can process within a 24-hour period when running under ideal conditions with no allowance for downtime. Stream day capacity is typically about 6 percent higher than calendar day capacity.
EIA said the number of operable refineries in the U.S. decreased to 129 as of Jan. 1, 2023, from 130 refineries as of Jan. 1, 2022. The loss was a small facility in Santa Monica, Calif., that had 9,500 b/cd of crude distillation capacity. Total U.S. capacity increased, EIA said, because PBF Energy reactivated a previously retired crude oil distillation unit at its refinery in Paulsboro, N.J., and increased its capacity from 100,000 b/cd in 2022 to 160,000 b/cd in 2023.
The 2023 EIA Refinery Capacity Report does not reflect changes in U.S. refinery capacity after Jan. 1, 2023.