US gasoline, diesel and jet fuel refining capacity is too low to meet demand

From record petrol prices to higher airline tickets to fears of diesel rationing in the offing, the runaway US energy market is alarming both US travelers and the economy at large. But the main driver isn’t high crude oil prices or even a pick-up in demand: there are simply too few refineries converting oil into useful fuels.

More than 1 million barrels per day of the country’s oil refining capacity — or about 5% in total — has been shut down since the pandemic began. Elsewhere in the world, capacity has shrunk by an additional 2.13 million barrels per day, estimates energy consultancy Turner, Mason & Co. And with no plans to bring new plants in the US online, even though refineries are making record profits, the supply shortage will only get worse.

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