EIA has issued a report on expected fourth-quarter refinery outages and their potential implications for the availability of gasoline and distillate supply at the Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) and sub-PADD levels. This report analyzes the availability of refinery capacity to produce diesel fuel and heating oil (distillate) and gasoline, focusing on two refinery units, the atmospheric crude distillation unit (ACDU) and the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU), which are strongly correlated with distillate and gasoline production, respectively. In addition, data for planned maintenance on catalytic reforming units (CRU) and hydrocracking units (HU) are provided. The report also contains a discussion of current market conditions and average historical unplanned outages.

Refinery outages result from the planned shutdown of refinery units for maintenance and upgrades, and from unplanned shutdowns from a variety of causes such as mechanical failure, bad weather, power failures, fire, and flooding. Planned maintenance is typically scheduled when refined petroleum product consumption is relatively low.

Across the different regions of the country, fourth-quarter 2015 planned refinery maintenance is concentrated in October, and many refineries have returned to or are in the process of returning to normal operations. Less maintenance is planned for November and minimal maintenance is planned for December.