With its purchase of the Carson refinery, Tesoro has become the largest refiner on the West Coast (Table 2). The concentration of refinery ownership in other regions is mostly unchanged from last year (Table 3).
Crude distillation capacity is one of the most widely tracked indicators of refinery size; however, the capacity of other secondary units is a key indicator as well. Expansion of secondary unit capacity can follow a different pattern over time, as refiners invest in the specific types of capacity needed to support changing crude and product qualities. In 2012, vacuum distillation, thermal cracking, catalytic hydrocracking, catalytic reforming, and hydrotreating capacity all increased, due to unit restarts and expansions, while catalytic cracking capacity was unchanged, and deasphalting capacity decreased. In 2013, secondary unit capacity expansion continues as companies work to maximize the production of ultra-low-sulfur diesel.
Gasoline and diesel fuel prices both decrease again
The U.S. average retail price of regular gasoline decreased five cents to $3.58 per gallon as of June 24, 2013, up 14 cents from last year at this time. The Midwest price dropped 19 cents from last week to $3.55 per gallon, down 32 cents over the last two weeks. The Rocky Mountain price is lower by two cents at $3.67 per gallon. Prices on the East and Gulf Coasts both decreased by less than a penny, to remain at $3.50 and $3.38 per gallon, respectively. Rounding out the regions, the West Coast price is $3.95 per gallon, up six cents from last week.
The national average diesel fuel price decreased less than one cent to remain at $3.84 per gallon, 16 cents higher than last year at this time, but the lowest price since July 30, 2012. The East Coast price increased less than a penny to remain at $3.84 per gallon. The Gulf Coast price is $3.74 per gallon, down less than one cent from last week. The Midwest and Rocky Mountain prices both fell one cent, to $3.85 and $3.84 per gallon, respectively. Rounding out the regions, the West Coast price is up one cent to $3.96 per gallon.