Middle East refiners continued their capacity expansion in 2012, raising the region’s total crude distillation capacity by 1.1% to 8.255mn b/d, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013. However, capacity utilization actually declined last year, with throughputs of 6.444mn b/d, down just over 1% from 2011’s record high of 6.519mn b/d.

Launching the review in London on 12 June, BP chief economist Christof Rühl said that global refining capacity utilization barely improved in 2012 despite a marked improvement in refining margins. “Large regional differences reflect the underlying strain of markets adjusting to new refining capacity in some regions, while there were closures elsewhere.” (CONTINUED - 565 WORDS)