Gross inputs to petroleum refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast region, which includes six states in the South, reached an average of 8.8 million barrels per day, or about 324,000 barrels per day higher than the previous five-year average for mid-October, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Gross inputs, which are also referred to as refinery runs, were higher than the five-year range for much of 2017 until Hurricane Harvey made landfall Aug. 25.
Since then, refinery runs have almost returned to levels they were before the hurricane. About half of all U.S. refinery capacity is in the U.S. Gulf Coast region, and Texas has about 31% of all capacity. Refineries in the region provide petroleum products to the Gulf Coast, East Coast, Midwest and internationally.
Many refineries, which shut down or reduced runs as a result of Hurricane Harvey, rely on “a supply of crude oil and feedstocks, electricity, workforce availability and safe working conditions and outlets for production,” according to the EIA. Gross inputs to refineries in the Gulf Coast declined 34% or by 3.2 million barrels per day for the week that ended Sept. 1, from the previous week. In the week that ended Sept. 8, gross inputs to the refineries fell by another 263,000 barrels per day to 5.9 million barrels per day, “the lowest weekly value since hurricanes Gustav and Ike disrupted refinery operations in September 2008.”
For the week that ended Oct. 13, Gulf Coast refinery runs fell again as a result of Hurricane Nate but not as much as they did after Hurricane Harvey. In the weeks between hurricanes Harvey and Nate, refinery runs increased, and after Hurricane Nate, refinery runs were higher than they were the week before the storm.