Why Is There A Diesel Shortage In The U.S.?

Distillate stockpiles are at their lowest level since 2008, according to the EIA. Diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil are distillates.

But when spring came around in 2008, distillate levels were low. Right now, just before fall, they are low. That is a lot worse than what happened in 2008.

In the spring and fall, when farmers sow and harvest crops and when people buy winter fuel oil, distillate demand rises.

Low distillate stocks in April 2008 aren't as bad as in October 2022. Since 1982, when the EIA began tracking distillate stockpiles, October stocks had never been lower.

Diesel costs more than $5 a gallon nationwide because there aren't enough distillates, even though gasoline is below $4 a gallon.

Why is diesel so hard to find this year? There are four things, but only two of them happen every year.

Refineries perform maintenance at this period. Spring and fall are low-demand, good-weather times for this. So, refineries can't produce as much oil now.

Third, unprofitable refineries have closed, reducing the amount of oil that can be refined in the U.S. This is a recent development.

But the main reason is that Russian imports have stopped. The U.S. bought nearly 700,000 barrels per day (BPD) of oil and oil products from other countries.

The vast majority of these imports consisted of finished items as well as the components that refineries required to produce further distillate.