Estimating the impact of refinery outages on petroleum product prices
We quantify the impact of refinery outages on petroleum product prices. The empirical analysis focuses on wholesale gasoline prices in the US using weekly data collected from January 2002 through September 2008, a period including many refinery outages. We match refinery unit output to specific wholesale gasoline markets, and then estimate panel data regressions to quantify the impact of refinery unit outages on wholesale gasoline prices while controlling for time-specific effects, city-specific effects, fuel-specific effects, refinery concentration, and other factors that could impact the price of refined petroleum products. The estimation results show that refinery outages have a statistically significant positive impact on refined product prices, and that the magnitude of this effect is larger for certain special fuel blends. Policy implications are discussed.
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