Typically, inventories should be 30% higher this time of the year. Such low levels are alarming because diesel is the workhorse of the global economy. It powers trucks and vans, excavators, freight trains and ships. A shortage would mean higher costs for everything from trucking to farming to construction.
–Javier Blas, Washington Post, October 18, 2022

Most government leaders, journalists and industry analysts don’t understand why there is a problem. That’s because it’s a refining issue and it’s not something simple that can easily be fixed by pressuring refiners to make more diesel. Let me explain.There is a sequence of products made in a refinery that includes gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel, and diesel that all must be distilled from each barrel of oil. It’s not an a la carte menu in which you can order diesel but tell the waiter to hold the gasoline, kerosene and jet fuel.