Fuel is flowing

US domestic inventories of gasoline and diesel ended the first half inside their multi-year averages. See two charts below. The US Department of Energy also (finally) confirmed that US refinery capacity has increased:

U.S. refining capacity (excluding U.S. territories) increased this year for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic… U.S. operable atmospheric crude oil distillation capacity, the primary measure of refinery capacity, totaled 18.1 million barrels per calendar day (b/cd) at the start of 2023, up by 117,000 b/cd (0.6%) from 17.9 million b/cd at the start of 2022… The number of operable refineries in the United States—including both idle and operating refineries—decreased to 129 refineries at the beginning of 2023, down from 130 refineries at the beginning of 2022. The single refinery closure reflects the loss of a small facility in Santa Maria, California, with 9,500 b/cd of crude oil distillation capacity. Despite the loss of the Santa Maria plant, overall capacity increased because PBF Energy reactivated a previously retired crude oil distillation unit at its Paulsboro, New Jersey, refinery. The unit’s crude oil capacity increased from 100,000 b/cd in 2022 to 160,000 b/cd in 2023.

Constrained global energy demand — due to reduced economic activity — and significant US energy production have allowed US energy prices to remain much lower than last year when war-related supply disruptions prompted significant price spikes.