Changing US crude imports are driving refinery upgrades

In the last 15 years, overall crude oil imports to the US have grown at 3%/year. During this time, the sources of these imports and their proportional shares have changed significantly, with a corresponding movement toward crudes that are heavier and more sour in average quality.The steady growth in crude oil imports to the US from Canada has been accompanied by significant investments in oil sands production in Canada, development of pipeline infrastructure to transport these crudes to the US, and refinery expansions in the US to enable processing of heavy crudes. These modifications to refining infrastructure, which result in increased requirements for hydrogen, steam, and power, are op...

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