U.S. refiners may be jumping the gun in ramping up production of gasoline for the summer driving season, Bloomberg reported.
Refinery runs jumped to the highest since February 2020 in the week ending June 4. Capacity utilization climbed for four consecutive weeks, reaching 91.3%, the most since January 2020.
Supply is outpacing demand. In the week ended June 4, the four-week rolling average for gasoline demand fell to the lowest seasonally since 2014. Overall demand for oil products dropped by about 1.4 million barrels a day, Bloomberg reported.
The rates were highest on the Gulf Coast, which has the greatest concentration of U.S. refining capacity, at 92.9. Gasoline supplies were about 7 million barrels higher than the five-year average between 2014 and 2019.
Running harder after over a year of cuts and postponed maintenance has caused units to malfunction from California to Texas. Valero Energy Corp. had fires at Three Rivers and Port Arthur, Texas, plants last week.