U.S. Markets closed

US plant outages send oil refining margins to 3-month high

Unplanned refinery outages are adding to already-tight fuel supplies.

According to analysts, that sends U.S. oil refining margins to a three-month high and is likely headed higher.

A key gauge of refiner profits that measures the difference between crude oil prices and selling prices of finished products touched $42.41 on Tuesday, the highest since October. The five-year January average is $15.56, an analysis of Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

The outages have pushed up gasoline prices in Texas and Oklahoma this year ahead of what is expected to be a heavier than usual turnaround season for refineries.

OIL EXPERT RIPS BIDEN'S WEAPONIZATION OF STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE AS 'BLASPHEMY': 'DISASTER FOR AMERICA'

Oil refinery
The Baytown Exxon gas refinery produces the more processed oil than any other facility in the United States.

Average gasoline prices in Texas hit about $3.07 a gallon on Tuesday, up almost 44 cents from a month ago, according to the AAA motor group.

READ ON THE FOX BUSINESS APP

AAA data showed that Motorists in Oklahoma are also paying about 45 cents more, at $3.13 a gallon.

Among the outages is a diesel-producing unit at PBF Energy's Chalmette, Louisiana, the refinery was shut following a fire on Saturday, and ExxonMobil said Monday it will perform planned maintenance on several units at its Baytown, Texas, petrochemical complex.

Oil Storage tanks
Storage tanks are seen at Marathon Petroleum's Los Angeles Refinery, which processes domestic & imported crude oil. Picture taken with a drone.

GAS PRICES RISE ON STRONG DEMAND, HIGHER OIL PRICES

The ongoing refinery maintenance season could be much lengthier than usual, with many U.S. Gulf Coast refineries still running below capacity after Winter Storm Elliott knocked out some 1.5 million barrels per day of refining capacity in December.

That storm has kept a Suncor refinery in Commerce City, Colorado offline.

A lot of overhauls were also delayed by the pandemic.

Reuters contributed to this report.