Pretty sad and one reason why action to promote new refineries and reverse the “Just in time” inventory low cost profiles that do not work when US and Global refinery system has no spare capacity or enough inventory levels to prevent immediate price impacts from supply disruptions. Enviornmentalist & Outsourcing supply are clearly to blame for both the lack of new capacity & inventory – which is also a byproduct of NIMBY legislation that has dropped the number of US Refinery levels from 350 down to today’s 136 -which mainly killed off the small independent regional refiner. Since they wont make the connection – it also eliminated the storage inventory of crude and products.
As a confirmation you only have to look at reports on earnings for Big Oil in 3Q 07 – Companies with better on-stream time like ConocoPhillips and Hess were up while ones with several refineries offline like ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco. Shells results were veiled by asset sales.
Independent Coker & Carbon consultant