Refineries in the Rocky Mountains region, defined by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) EIA as Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) IV, are smaller and less complex than they are in the rest of the U.S. The region is landlocked and the 16 refineries – average size only 42 Mb/d - rely on U.S. light sweet crude produced locally or in North Dakota as well as Western Canadian heavy crude. The combination of rich supplies of crude and increased demand for refined products such as diesel means that refinery margins are high. These healthy economics are encouraging refinery expansions. Today we examine these plans.
Posts from John Auers
No, we aren’t talking about Colorado’s recent legalization of the “wacky weed”, but rather the high that the rush of light crudes is bringing to the refining industry in PADD IV, the Rockies region. While John Denver’s famous lyrics spoke of the magic of the Rocky Mountains, regional refiners have found elation in recent years as both domestic and readily accessible Western Canadian production increased, stranding crude supplies, putting downward pressure on prices and lifting their margins sky high. Today we examine how this has impacted the economics of the region and incentivized investment.