Refinery Outages Can Have Varying Gasoline Price Impacts, but Gaps in Federal Data Limit Understanding of Impacts : Report to Congressional Requesters
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In 2008, GAO reported that, with the exception of the period following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, refinery outages in the United States did not show discernible trends in reduced production capacity, frequency, and location from 2002 through 2007. Some outages are planned to perform routine maintenance or upgrades, while unplanned outages occur as a result of equipment failure or other unforeseen problems. GAO was asked to (1) evaluate the effect of refinery outages on wholesale gasoline prices and (2) identify gaps in federal data needed for this and similar analyses. GAO selected refinery outages from 2002 through September 2008 that were at least among the largest 60 percent in terms of lost production capacity in their market region and lasted at least 3 days. GAO developed an econometric model and tested a variety of assumptions using public and private data. We recommend that the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) convene a panel of agency officials, industry representatives, and experts to determine if existing data meet the current and future needs of the Congress and analysts who use such data.
[Washington, D.C.] : U.S. Govt. Accountability Office, 
1 online resource (ii, 43 p.)