Domestic Refining

The nation's refinery system includes 150 operable refineries in the U.S. (excluding Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands)These refineries have a total crude distillation capacity of 17.6 million barrels per calendar day (BPCD) and 18.6 million barrels per stream day (BPSD).

Local refinery production, net imports and net receipts (from one domestic region to another) are possible sources of petroleum product fuel supply. The East Coast is dependent on supply from distant sources, Gulf Coast refineries, and imports; East Coast refineries contribute only about 30 percent of local demand. The Midwest is dependent on supply from the East and Gulf Coasts. The Rocky Mountain area and the West Coast are self-sufficient. The refineries in the Gulf Coast meet local needs, contribute about half of the East Coast petroleum product demand, and are significant suppliers to Midwest consumers.

These region-to-region movements are significant because petroleum products are transported by pipelines and barges at slow rates (only a few miles an hour) and over long distances. Examples of long distance pipelines moving petroleum products from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast are Colonial Pipeline (1,500 miles) and Plantation Pipe Line (1,100 miles). Explorer Pipeline (1,400 miles) and TEPPCO, LP (1,100 miles) are long distance examples from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest. It can take 1.5 to 2 weeks for petroleum products to travel the entire length of these interstate pipeline systems.

Although 95% of total refined petroleum product demand is produced domestically, approximately 49% of the crude oil refined in the U.S. is imported from other nations. Since 2011, for the first time since 1948, the United States has become a net exporter of refined petroleum products.