Global crude runs rose by 1.8 million b/d in 2015, led by Europe and China. Europe recorded its largest increase in crude runs since 1986

Strong refining margins lifted crude runs by 1 million b/d in the OECD, with growth in Europe (+740,000 b/d) the highest since 1986. Global refining capacity growth slowed to 450,000 b/d, the lowest in 23 years. Capacity in Asia Pacific fell for the first time since 1988. Global average refinery utilization rose by 1 percentage point to 82.1%, the fastest increase in five years.

Refinery utilization (percentage)

Regional refining margins ($ per barrel)


The refinery capacity data presented in this Review represents the sum of reported atmospheric crude distillation and condensate splitting capacity. Capacity should comprise the amount of input that a distillation facility can process under usual operating conditions, taking into account scheduled downtime. Figures are in thousand barrels daily at year end per calendar day, that is, the capacity taking into account normal scheduled downtime.

Refinery are based on the quantity of crude and condensate processed in atmospheric distillation units and condensate splitters. Figures are in thousands of barrels per day.

The refining margins presented are benchmark margins for three major global refining centres: US Gulf Coast (USGC), North West Europe (NWE - Rotterdam) and Singapore. In each case they are based on a single crude oil appropriate for that region and have optimized product yields based on a generic refinery configuration (cracking, hydrocracking or coking), again appropriate for that region. The margins are on a semi-variable basis, that is, the margin after all variable costs and fixed energy costs.


Refinery capacity and throughput includes data sourced from ICIS.

Related content