NPRA: US refiners continue to increase total capacity

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 3 -- US refiners increased their total capacity by 100,000 b/d from 2008 to 2009, reported the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association in its latest annual US refining and storage capacity report on Sept. 2.

Using data compiled from the US Energy Information Administration’s 2009 Petroleum Supply Annual, NPRA said refining capacity grew by 0.44% to 17.7 million b/d this year from 17.6 million b/d in 2008. It said that a refinery in Wyoming—Northcut Refining with 3,000 b/d of capacity—began to operate earlier this year, while another plant—the 2,000 b/d Paramount Petroleum refinery in Oregon, which last operated in 2006—shut down permanently.

Growth occurred despite an uncertain economy and pending legislation that could hurt refiners, according to NPRA Pres. Charles T. Drevna. “Policymakers must understand that counterproductive legislation, such as cap-and-trade bills or low-carbon fuel standards, would only benefit foreign businesses that already are aiming at US markets with their own refined products,” Drevna said.

The American Petroleum Institute and NPRA each have criticized a clean air bill that the House passed by a 219-212 vote on June 26 because it would set up a carbon cap-and-trade program that the groups believe distributes free emissions allowances unequally. Domestic refiners would receive 2.26% of the allowances but be responsible for 44% of the total emissions, API noted on Aug. 24 as it released an independent study of HR 2454’s possible impacts on US refiners.

“Jobs are not created by targeting American businesses for punitive measures and consumer costs will not be contained if our nation’s energy future is outsourced to foreign entities,” Drevna said.

NPRA’s report is available online at

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