While oil prices have tumbled to a 7 month low and are near the $43 a barrel range, U.S. petroleum refineries are running at a record pace.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports gross inputs to the refineries averaged 17.7 million barrels a day for the week ending May 26 before they dropped slightly to 17.5 million for the week ending June 2. For the week ending June 9th, inputs rose to 17.6 million barrels a day.
The EIA says refinery runs have gone beyond 17 million barrels a day only 24 times since the administration started publishing the information in 1990.
Because refineries have increased their capacities in recent years, the record-high input of oil did not result in record high production.
Weekly U.S. refinery runs have exceeded 17 million b/d only 24 times 83 million barrels higher than the five-year average, although they are almost 3 million barrels lower than at the same time last year.