American refineries reach record capacity rates 

    More American crude is pumping through U.S. refineries, helping to boost crude oil distillation capacity rates to a nearly 40-year high earlier this year, according to the Energy Department.

    The Houston Chronicle reports crude oil distillation capacity rates are based on an operator’s estimate of the input that a distillation unit can process in a 24-hour period under usual operating conditions, recognizing the effects of both planned and unplanned maintenance.

    U.S. refineries reached a record high of 18.8 million barrels a day of atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity on Jan. 1—the highest those rates have been in 38 years. The last time crude oil distillation capacity was that high was in January 1981 at 18.6 million barrels per a day, according to the EIA.

    Refineries have also increased the amount of crude oil they are inputting into their systems referred to as refinery runs. Their crude oil production has more than doubled since 2009, hitting an average of 11 million barrels a day last year.

    At the same time refineries are cranking out more products, they’re also importing less oil and using more lighter sweet crude from American oilfields. U.S. crude oil imports decreased by 1.3 million barrels a day and U.S. crude oil exports increased by 2 million barrels a day. Read the full story. 

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