Prices coming down, but for how long?

After noticing a few regional station making nice drops, I decided to load up last week’s Midwest PADD numbers. Finally! A jump from 45.2 million barrels to 46.3 million barrels. That should help West Michigan and the Midwest region to start dropping into the $2’s again… but for how long? Maybe just a couple weeks… until our loss in Toledo catches up with us.

Not too long- we are likely to see a jump in prices as BP prepares to completely shut its Toledo, Ohio refinery for 8 solid weeks of maintenance. This is unusual for a refinery to completely shut down while performing maintenance. BP likely plans to add equipment and update old equipment to process heavy sand oils from Canada, much like their massive Whiting, Indiana refinery.

The shutdown could push local higher prices higher- Detroit will definitely notice this as the refinery directly serves Detroit. Hopefully BP will get the maintenance done faster than scheduled.

I’ve updated the latest refinery shutdowns this morning. Visit the “Computing Gas Prices” link for that up-to-date information.

About the only good news is coming out of Tulsa, Oklahoma today as Sinclair Oil announces they are interested in spending one billion dollars to expand their refinery there, bringing the capacity from 70,000bpd to 115,000bpd. That’d be nice. We need to see more of this.

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