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IEA Says Refining Throughput Expected to Increase in July and August




The sun sets behind the smokestacks of the Total Grandpuits oil refinery south-east of Paris, France, February 29, 2016. REUTERS / Christian Hartmann / File Photo

LONDON, July 13 (Reuters) – Global refining cycles are expected to continue to rise in July and August due to rising vaccination rates and the easing of social distancing measures around the world, the london said on Tuesday. International Energy Agency (IEA).

The Paris-based agency, however, expects the trend to wane in winter due to seasonal refinery maintenance.

Refiners around the world dramatically cut operations in 2020, facing an unprecedented drop in fuel demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic and mobility restrictions. Lockdowns at their peak destroyed more than 20% of global oil demand.

Refining cycles have increased since February as widespread vaccination programs began in several countries and restrictions were relaxed. After stagnating in May, global refining throughput increased 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, the IEA said in its monthly report.

This is the largest monthly increase since July 2020, which has supported crude oil prices. Increased product supply and higher crude oil prices negatively impacted product cracks and refinery margins in June.

Cycles are expected to increase an additional 2.7 million bpd in July and August from June levels, but will begin to decline in September and October with the start of the refinery maintenance season.

The gap between global refinery throughput in the fourth quarter of the year and its peak in 2018 will be around 2.6 million barrels per day. Global throughput is not expected to reach 2018 levels by the end of next year, according to the IEA.

“The main deficit will be due to Europe and North America, while the Middle East, parts of Asia and Latin America are on track to exceed 2018 levels in 2022,” said declared the IEA.

The activity of European refiners is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, the IEA said. As a result, annual average throughputs of Chinese refineries are expected to exceed European rivals by 3 million bpd in 2022. Chinese refiners reached parity with European refineries in 2019 in terms of throughput.

The IEA has said stalled talks by major oil producers over releasing additional supply could turn into a price war just as COVID-19 vaccines increase demand for oil. Read more

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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