SECOND-THIRD QUARTERS 2006: US propane production falling short of full-recovery volumes

Since January 2006, US gas plants have enjoyed record high profit margins. Furthermore, propane prices in all regional markets have been strong enough to encourage refineries to maximize sales into the merchant market.Despite these economic incentives, gas-plant production (even after adjusting for ongoing problems in Louisiana) and net production from refineries failed to reach their historic full-recovery volumes.During 2000-02, US producers and consumers could count on 900,000-925,000 b/d propane production from gas plants and refineries, when gas plants operated at full recovery. Since 2002, however, “full recovery” gradually declined but the decline went largely unnoticed...

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