澳大利亚燃料供应商Viva能源集团(Viva Energy Group Ltd .)首席执行官斯科特•怀亚特(Scott Wyatt)本月早些时候表示，新冠的影响……给我们的炼油业务带来了前所未有的巨大压力，并且长期来看还不可持续。
根据美国能源信息署(U.S. Energy Information Administration)的数据显示，美国燃料需求同比下降13%。取暖油和柴油的使用量通常会在秋季上升，但由于库存超过1.79亿桶，接近纪录高点，炼油商没有动力继续运营。
位于巴黎的国际能源署(International Energy Agency)上周两个月来第二次下调了对今年全球石油需求的预测，由于复苏步履蹒跚。根据能源监管机构预测，2020年全球石油和液体燃料的日均消耗量将为9170万桶，比先前的预测减少20万桶，较2019年的1.001亿桶减少840万桶。
韩国最大的炼油商SK创新有限公司(SK Innovation Co Ltd)发言人表示，该公司正在考虑进一步降低其旗下两家炼油厂的原油加工量。此前，该公司将9-10月原油平均利用率从7-8月的85%降至80%。
郝芬 译自 能源世界网
Oil refiners worldwide struggle with weak demand, inventory glut
Global oil refiners reeling from months of lackluster demand and an abundance of inventories are cutting fuel production into the autumn because the recovery in demand from the impact of coronavirus has stalled, according to executives, refinery workers and industry analysts.
Refiners cut output by as much as 35 per cent in spring as coronavirus lockdowns destroyed the need for travel. As lockdowns eased, refiners increased output slowly through late August. But in top fuel consumer the United States and elsewhere, refiners have been decreasing rates for the last several weeks in response to increased inventories, a sustained lack of demand and in response to natural disasters.
The second largest fuel consumer led the world in oil demand recovery after taming its outbreak of coronavirus.
"The impacts of COVID-19...are putting extreme pressures on the refining business that we have not experienced before and are not sustainable over the longer term," Scott Wyatt, chief executive at Australian fuel supplier Viva Energy Group Ltd , said earlier this month.
Inventories of distillates, which include diesel, jet fuel and heating oil, which usually start building ahead of winter, are brimming this year, leading to a poor outlook for refinery margins for the coming months.
U.S. fuel demand has fallen 13 per cent year-on-year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Autumn is typically when use of heating oil and diesel rises, but with more than 179 million barrels in storage, nearly a record, refiners have no incentive to keep units running.
The Paris-based International Energy Agency cut its forecast for global oil demand for 2020 for the second time in two months last week due to the faltering recovery. The energy watchdog forecast global consumption of petroleum and liquid fuels will average 91.7 million barrels per day for all of 2020, a reduction in its previous forecast of 200,000 bpd and down 8.4 million bpd from 2019's 100.1 million bpd level.
U.S. refiners are still producing 20 per cent less fuel than before the pandemic. Indian, Japanese and South Korean refineries cut their utilization rates from July and August.
"Even with a U-shape economic recovery, demand potentially is going to be around 2 million bpd below where it was in the fourth quarter of 2019," David Fyfe, chief economist at Argus, said on a webinar earlier this month.
Asia's fuel output could fall further during seasonal maintenance between September and November, and several facilities worldwide are expected to close.
Average utilization rates at Chinese state-owned refineries were at around 78.6 per cent by end-August, down around 3.6 percentage points from July, data compiled by China-based Longzhong consultancy showed.
Australia's Viva said it may be forced to permanently shut its Geelong Refinery in Victoria to curtail losses unless coronavirus-led restrictions are eased and demand picks up. The Australian government has proposed spending billions of dollars to keep the country's four remaining refineries open.
Singapore's complex refining margins, a bellwether for Asia, were negative in the first half of September, after turning slightly positive in August following four straight months of losses.
In the United States, the refining margin is hovering around $9 a barrel, near its lowest levels in April. Refiners typically do not turn a profit on products unless the crack spread - the difference between crude and fuel - is higher than $10.
Several refiners in the Philadelphia and Chicago area have put off planned work this autumn to save cash, according to sources familiar with those plants. In total, fewer refineries than usual will shut for seasonal maintenance.
Japan, the world's third-largest crude importer, cut its refinery utilization rate to 65.9 per cent in the week through Sept. 12, down from nearly 72 per cent in mid-August.
South Korea's largest refiner SK Innovation Co Ltd is considering further lowering crude processing at its two refineries after reducing average utilization rates to 80 per cent in September-October from 85 per cent in July-August, according to a company spokeswoman.