Refinery runs averaged a record high 17.7 million barrels per day from May 20 to 26, before dropping slightly to 17.5 and 17.6 million bpd the following two weeks, respectively. Refinery runs have only eclipsed 17 million bpd 24 times since 1990, according to PennEnergy.
Although refineries have been experiencing record-high inputs, utilization didn’t reach a new high because capacity has increased by 659,000 barrels per day since mid-August 2015. The same week refinery runs reached a record high, refinery utilization reached 95 percent, which was only slightly lower than the levels in mid-July through mid-August 2015.
Refinery capacity represents the amount of input that a crude oil distillation unit can process in a 24-hour period under usual operating conditions.