|SWhile some refineries have been closing, many
remaining in operation have been expanding.
|SSince 1993, refineries that were in
continuous operation grew on average 1.5 percent per year. Refineries in the mid-size range (140-210)
exhibited the largest percentage growth pattern.
|SThe term “capacity creep” has come into use to
describe the relatively slow aggregate capacity increases. However, the year-to-year data show
additions to individual refineries are larger than the term “creep” would
|–Much of the capacity growth in individual
refineries occurred in fairly large increments over 1, 2, or 3 years during
the 15-year period, rather than in small increments over many years.
|–There were 10 instances in which individual
refineries increased distillation capacity in one year between 30-50 MB/D,
and there were 93 instances were capacity increased between 10-30 MB/D over
the prior year.
|SWhile these increases are modest in size
and not being done by all refineries, the expansions are more than incidental