Source: The Barrel Blog | October 3, 2017 | Mary Hogan, Associate Editor
US Gulf Coast refining margins for medium and heavy sour crude oil grades have fallen back to levels more closely resembling pre-Harvey values in the month since the storm’s departure.
After Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, refining margins soared on limited supply as port restrictions limited sour crude imports into the US Gulf Coast.
In addition, several pipeline closures further tightened supply available to Louisiana refiners, the majority of which were unaffected by the storm. As these refiners ramped up run rates to make up for a loss of product from offline Texas refineries, they bid up the price of several regional and imported sour grades.
By the end of September, however, margins had dropped back below end-August levels.
The fall in regional refining margins for sour crude grades coincided with an increase in Gulf Coast crude imports as port restrictions eased and infrastructure came back online. In September, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port imported 10.73 million barrels of crude, representing a month-on-month increase of 3.04 million barrels, according to data from Platts Analytics and US Customs.
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