Published on Tuesday, January 5 2021
Authors: Jonathan Leitch

We entered 2020 with the expectation of higher refining margins, driven by a continuation of strong global economic activity supplemented by an expected IMO boost to product margins and widening of heavy crude discounts. Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly dashed those expectations, with the unprecedented drop in petroleum demand from…

Published on Tuesday, December 15 2020
Authors: John Mayes and John Auers

In the last ten years, refining capacity in Latin America has declined by over 230 MBPD in spite of growing demand, which has increased by about 120 MBPD.  Further exacerbating this growing imbalance is a sharp decline in the refinery utilization rates of the existing refineries in the region.  In…

Published on Tuesday, October 20 2020
Authors: Guest - PLG Consulting

Today’s blog was written by PLG Consulting with input from TM&C and previously published on their website.  PLG is a leading consulting firm operating primarily in the supply chain and logistics space.  Like TM&C, they have been heavily involved with helping clients address challenges and take advantage of opportunities in…

Published on Tuesday, October 6 2020
Authors: Robert Auers and John Auers

It seems that the petroleum industry just can’t catch a break these days with demand challenges from COVID-19 related restrictions continuing to linger and politicians blaming climate change and, by extension, hydrocarbons for every natural disaster from forest fires to hurricanes and other extreme weather events.  While demand has already…

Published on Tuesday, September 8 2020
Authors: Robert Auers and John Auers

Last week, we looked primarily at our outlook for petroleum demand and how that will affect the refining industry going forward.  This week, we turn our focus to the other major side of the equation affecting refining margins – supply.  We’ll look first at refining “supply” – that is, current…

Published on Tuesday, September 1 2020
Authors: Robert Auers and John Auers

Nearly three months ago, we published a blog entitled Part 2 “Up Around the Bend” blog series, discussing the outlook for production demand and refining margins as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the first two blogs, we discussed some of the unprecedented effects that the COVID-19 lockdowns had…

Published on Tuesday, August 4 2020
Authors: Robert Auers and John Auers

By any measure, 2020 has not gone as planned for anybody and this is particularly true for refiners for whom almost nothing seems to have gone right.  This point is coming across loud and clear during the round of 2nd quarter earnings calls currently being conducted by both independent and…

Published on Tuesday, June 9 2020
Authors: Robert Auers and John Auers

Six weeks ago, we published a blog entitled “Up Around the Bend” - What lies ahead for product demand and refiners’ prospects as COVID lockdowns ease?”.  In that blog, we discussed some of the unprecendented effects that the COVID-19 lockdowns had on petroleum demand, including sending both gasoline and jet…

Published on Tuesday, June 2 2020
Authors: Sam Davis and John Auers

We continue our blog series from the past few weeks covering first quarter earnings reports of the various segments of the petroleum industry, with today’s focus on the Canadian integrated companies.  We’ll start by giving them kudos for the way they have stepped up in a big way in support…

Published on Tuesday, May 19 2020
Authors: Sam Davis and John Auers

In last week’s blog, we mentioned steps the integrated majors were taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. independent refiners were no different. They all took steps to support community efforts, from manufacturing and distribution of hand sanitizers to hospitals and emergency responders, to donations towards pandemic relief…

Published on Tuesday, April 28 2020
Authors: By Robert Auers and John Auers

As refiners looked toward 2020, many had dreams of growing margins driven by a continuation of strong global economic activity supplemented by an expected IMO boost to product margins and widening of heavy crude discounts.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned those dreams into nightmares, with the unprecedented drop in…

Published on Tuesday, April 14 2020
Authors: John Auers and Robert Auers

Last week, we began our series analyzing how the collapse in petroleum demand and subsequent required reductions in refining throughput will impact crude slates at U.S. refineries.  In that blog, we discussed the fundamental factors which influence the types of crudes refiners purchase and the regional differences influencing those factors. …

Published on Tuesday, March 24 2020
Authors: John Auers and Robert Auers

The COVID-19 pandemic and Saudi/Russia oil war has so dramatically changed the world and in such a short time, that Jethro Tull’s late 60’s classic, “A New Day Yesterday” seems entirely appropriate to describe the radically different outlook for the petroleum industry that prevails today than just a couple weeks…

Published on Tuesday, March 3 2020
Authors: Sam Davis and John Auers

Continuing pipeline constraints out of Western Canada and the ensuing production curtailment program that began in early 2019 has resulted in significant price volatility between the WTI and WCS benchmark differentials over the last couple of years.    Canadian integrated refiners have experienced both the best and the worst of these…

Published on Tuesday, February 25 2020
Authors: John Auers and Robert Auers

The early days of the new decade of the 2020s has shown to be a challenging one for refiners, with both anticipated and unanticipated events leading to an uncertain and challenging environment for industry participants.  In thinking about this situation and challenges faced by refiners, the ZZ Top classic, “Got…

Published on Tuesday, February 18 2020
Authors: Sam Davis and John Auers

Today, we continue our blog series reviewing highlights from the recent Q4 2019 earnings calls. In last week’s blog, we shared key takeaways from the earnings calls for the Integrated Majors, focusing primarily on their downstream businesses, and also highlighting efforts being taken to reduce carbon footprint as the industry…

Published on Tuesday, February 11 2020
Authors: Sam Davis and John Auers

As fourth quarter and full year 2019 earnings season draws to a close, we pause to reflect on a difficult year for the industry but also take note of a future holding both challenges and opportunities.  Many of these are coming from the changing industry environment wrought by the worries…

Published on Monday, January 6 2020
Authors: George Hoekstra, Hoekstra Trading LLC – Guest Writer

Mr. Hoekstra is a 45-year veteran of the petroleum industry, with an extensive background in hydroprocessing technology. Turner, Mason & Company (TM&C) once again welcomes his independent thoughts (not necessarily the same as TM&C’s) on the progress refiners have made and the challenges they continue to face in meeting Tier…

Published on Tuesday, November 19 2019
Authors: John Mayes and John Auers

For a number of reasons, we thought the early 70’s tune “Right Place, Wrong Time” by the idiosyncratic singer/songwriter Dr. John (real name – Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.), was an appropriate and timely tie-in to today’s blog. From a superficial standpoint, we both share our names with the good “Doctor,”…

Published on Monday, November 4 2019
Authors: Eamon Cullinane

Now available by subscription is the IMO 2020 Tracker Tool (Outlook subscribers have complimentary access). The Turner, Mason & Company IMO 2020 Tracker Tool is an online interactive dashboard highlighting relevant crude and product differentials, crack spreads and refining margins across the U.S. Gulf Coast, Northwest Europe and Singapore. The…

Published on Tuesday, October 29 2019
Authors: Ed Koshka and John Auers

Perhaps following the advice of their iconic rock band, Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO), Canadian voters chose to “Let it Ride” with incumbent Prime Minister (PM) Justin Trudeau in last week’s national elections.  Despite all the scandal, controversy and personal low popularity, Trudeau’s Liberal Party garnered the plurality of seats (157)…

Published on Tuesday, October 1 2019
Authors: Cinda Lohmann and Julia Tossetti

For the past several years, discussion regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) future has simmered.  In 2018, it intensified when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exercised their general waiver authority of the renewable volume obligations for at least the second consecutive year.  This action triggered the reset provisions, requiring…

Published on Tuesday, September 3 2019
Authors: Eamon Cullinane and John Auers

We certainly hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing Labor Day weekend.  As we return to work after this traditional “end of summer” holiday, which was created in the late 19th century to honor U.S. workers, we thought it would be appropriate to write a blog detailing the advantages those…

Published on Tuesday, August 27 2019
Authors: Sam Davis and Robert Auers

Pipeline project developments in Western Canada and the Permian continue to make news, albeit with different trend lines and under different regulatory environments. The three major pipeline projects out of Western Canada continue to face opposition, but recent progress has been made on two out of the three projects despite…

Published on Tuesday, August 20 2019
Authors: John Auers

The 1971 catchy tune “Signs,” by the otherwise forgettable Canadian rock group, “Five Man Electrical Band,” is an appropriate anthem for the ever changing regulatory environment facing the petroleum industry in the U.S. and around the world.   While all businesses are impacted by government regulations, the petroleum industry, and especially…

Published on Tuesday, August 6 2019
Authors: John Auers and Beth Hilbourn

The past few years have truly been eventful ones for the oil industry, both within the U.S. and throughout the world. We’ve seen major and potentially trend-setting developments in all segments of the business, from the upstream, through the midstream and the downstream as well. In thinking about this rapidly…

Published on Tuesday, July 30 2019
Authors: Cinda Lohmann, Julia Tossetti and John Auers

Just like ethanol blending in general, E15 (gasoline containing 15% ethanol) has long been a “political football” with refiners, automakers, ethanol makers, the farm lobby and environmentalists all involved in the skirmishes.  There have even been some unlikely alliances formed during the debate, with refiners finding allies from the environmental…

Published on Tuesday, June 25 2019
Authors: John Auers and Robert Auers

Most of the news out of the Latin American downstream sector in recent years has been pretty disappointing regarding both existing operations and expansions.   Of course, this bad news for South of the Border refiners has been real good news for U.S. refiners.  It has been a major factor in…

Published on Monday, June 10 2019
Authors: George Hoekstra

Written by: George Hoekstra, guest writer Mr. Hoekstra retired from BP in 2009 after working 35 years in refinery process research with Amoco and BP. Since then, he has worked as an independent consultant specializing in hydroprocessing technology.  His company does independent pilot plant testing, laboratory testing, field testing, and…

Published on Tuesday, June 4 2019
Authors: Robert Auers

North American midstream investments are trying to keep pace with rapidly growing production with most midstream operators benefitting financially from this production growth (though you might not know it looking at their equity performance). In the last installment of our Q1 earnings call reviews; we focus on the larger Midstream…

Published on Tuesday, May 28 2019
Authors: Sam Davis

We continue our blog series reviewing highlights from the Q1 earnings calls. In last week’s blog, we focused on U.S. Independent Refiners who reported lower profits from weak gasoline cracks and narrow crude differentials. This week’s blog provides highlights from the earnings calls of Canadian Integrated Refiners, who collectively enjoyed…

Published on Tuesday, April 30 2019
Authors: Robert Auers and John Auers

As the struggle to build much-needed pipeline capacity from Alberta proceeds, further delays continue on both of the two largest proposed projects out of the region – Transmountain (TMX) and Keystone XL (KXL).   TMX, which would provide 590 MBPD of additional capacity to the Vancouver area on the Pacific Coast,…

Published on Tuesday, April 23 2019
Authors: Robert Auers and John Auers

In many ways, the evolution and chart success of the various releases of the Doobie Brothers, “Long Train Runnin’”, tracks the experience of Crude-by-Rail (CBR) in North America.  The DB classic was originally an untitled tune which was periodically included in live performances for a number of years before it…

Published on Tuesday, April 16 2019
Authors: John Mayes and John Auers

There has been a lot of discussion in recent weeks and months about the “mismatch” between the type of crude which is being produced and the design capabilities of existing refineries and proposed expansions.  While light shale producers continue to surprise on the upside, heavy crude production has been declining…

Published on Monday, February 11 2019
Authors: Sam Davis and Guillermo Suarez

Mexico’s refining system has been on a steady decline for the past decade as poor maintenance and reliability have hampered refineries and reduced domestic production of fuels. The country’s logistics network faces serious bottlenecks as the existing infrastructure, built by Pemex over seven decades ago, is geographically limited; however, the…

Published on Monday, January 28 2019
Authors: Markus Auers and Beth Hilbourn

While the U.S. federal government shutdown consumed much of the headlines over the last several weeks, it does not mean that changes haven’t been brewing in Washington D.C.  In fact, the Trump Administration continues to make a variety of moves, including some which will have important impacts on the petroleum…

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