WSJ - Bottleneck Fuels Record-High Gas Prices

May 28, 2022 – Wall Street Journal

Bottleneck Fuels Record-High Gas Prices

By Christopher M. Matthews and Peter Santilli

The closures were exacerbated by a punishing hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico, home to the world’s largest petrochemical complex, that damaged some refineries there. Some companies are performing maintenance on their refineries right now, keeping even more capacity offline. The utilization rate for U.S. refineries is at about 90%, according to the EIA, at the top of the five-year range.

All of that is pushing profit margins for refining companies to record levels. The margins for producing gasoline in the East Coast are approaching $50 a barrel, up from less than $10 a barrel in the spring of 2020, according to consultant RBN Energy LLC. The margins for producing diesel in the East Coast spiked to more than $100 a barrel in late April but are now around $60 a barrel, RBN said.

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