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Last updateFri, 13 Jul 2018 4pm

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What's Affecting Crude Oil Price Differentials, Refining Decisions

Growth in global liquid fuels supply since March 2017 has been driven by increases in the production of historically higher-priced light crude oils. This growth has more than offset recent declines in the production of medium and heavy crude oils. As these production trends continue, price differences between certain crude oils are narrowing, and refinery operation decisions are changing.

Global production of light crude oil has increased, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports. Libya and Nigeria, which are not participating in OPEC’s production cuts, have increased production of their light-sweet crude oil in recent months. In addition, much of the increase in U.S. crude oil production has come from shale formations in the lower 48 states, which contain primarily light-density crude oil. 

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