(EnergyAsia, August 8 2015, Saturday) — Reflecting the growing strength of the US economy, its refiners have been operating at a record throughput of over 17 million b/d since mid-July, said the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The rolling four-week average of US gross refinery inputs has been above the five-year range every week so far this year since the US agency began publishing this data in 1990.

As a result, US refiners have raised their motor gasoline output by 2.9% through the first five months of 2015 to meet rising demand coming out of Europe and India.

“The record high gross inputs reflect both higher refinery capacity and higher utilisation rates. Lower crude oil prices and strong demand for petroleum products, primarily gasoline, both in the US and globally have led to favourable margins that encourage refinery investment and high refinery runs,” said the EIA.

US refinery runs tend to peak in the April-to-September period to coincide with rising demand from increased driving in the summer. In its July report, the EIA estimates that US refinery throughputs will average 16.7 million b/d over that six-month period before falling in the fourth quarter to 16.2 million b/d and further to 15.8 million b/d in the first-quarter of 2016.