Refinery throughput growth averaged 1.6 million b/d, up from only 0.5 million b/d in 2016
Growth was driven by China (570,000 b/d), the US (410,000 b/d) and Europe (370,000 b/d) which outweighed a decline of 280,000 b/d in South & Central America. Global refining capacity growth was 0.6 million b/d, below average for the third consecutive year, with China and India the main contributors to growth. As a result, refinery utilization rose from 82.5% to 83.7% – the highest in nine years. Utilisation in South & Central America fell to 66.1% – the lowest since 1985.
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.
Refinery throughputs 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, i.e. the margin after all variable costs and fixed energy costs.
Refinery capacity and throughput includes data sourced from ICIS.