U.S. oil refinery capacity 1970-2018

In 2018, oil refinery capacity in the United States amounted to approximately 18.76 million barrels per day. Although refineries are operating at full capacity, they may still have difficulties in meeting daily energy demands.

How production increased

Oil consumption in the United States is one of the highest in the world and rising consistently. Since 2008, domestic production has more than doubled, following technological developments such as hydraulic fracturing that made it possible to extract from more oil sources, such as shale and tight sandstone. A surge in crude oil production has put pressure on refineries to keep raising capacity, which has not grown as rapidly.

An excess of oil

The unprecedented level of shale oil production outweighed the country’s growing demand and led to a sizable surplus. Since the 2010s oil glut, the United States has had to seek out new markets to increase exports, just as it became the world’s largest producer of oil.

Oil refinery capacity in the United States from 1970 to 2018

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Release date

June 2019


United States

Survey time period

1970 to 2018

Supplementary notes

According to the source, daily capacity volumes refer to atmospheric distillation capacity on a calendar-day basis.
Figures for years not included in the pdf version were taken from the Data workbook of the Statistical Review.
Thist statistic was assembled using several editions of the report.

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Statistics on "United States oil industry"

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