In the run-up to a busy Memorial Day weekend, refineries across the country boosted their crude utilization rate to 91.2% — a significant increase to a spring season which has seen utilization in the 86-88% range, mostly due to unexpected and planned maintenance. The higher rate helped boost gasoline stocks by 2.2 million bbl to 230.9 million bbl last week, according to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly petroleum status report for the week ending on May 24. Increased gasoline production and higher stock levels can help to suppress pump prices amid robust gas demand, which fell slightly last week from 9.43 million b/d to 9.39 million b/d. With summer road trips poised to drive higher gas demand rates, increased gasoline stocks will play an important role in helping to keep pump prices in most states under the $3/gallon mark during the busy driving season. Since Monday, the national average for unleaded regular gasoline has held steady at $2.82.
Domestic Gasoline Stocks Grew Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend