Shares of fuel producers are set to trade on high volume this week with 12% of the U.S.'s refining capacity shuttered as fuel makers along the Texas coast assess damage from Hurricane Harvey, according to Goldman Sachs economists.
More than 2 million barrels of refining capacity has been shut in because of Harvey, which was downgraded to a tropical storm after hitting as a category 4 hurricane. Based on data from similar storms in the past, Goldman estimates that Harvey will increase domestic crude availability by about 1.4 million bpd due to refinery shut-ins. Gasoline supplies will drop by 615,000 to 785,000 bpd and distillate supplies will drop by 700,000 bpd, though.
Goldman noted that ExxonMobil (XOM - Get Report) , Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A - Get Report) , Phillips 66 (PSX - Get Report) , Valero (VLO - Get Report) and Marathon Petroleum (MPC - Get Report) all reduced output or shut refineries as Harvey approached.
Refiner margins are due for a boost as "non-affected refiners [are incentivized] to operate at higher utilization," Goldman wrote. Economists don't forecast much impact on refiners' normalized view of earnings or valuation based on 2018 estimates.
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