Commercial performance of a refinery is the effectiveness of sourcing crude and selling refined products. Good performance entails getting the optimal crude at the lowest possible price and selling the optimal product slate at the highest possible price.
The prices for crude and products that a refiner faces are largely driven by market conditions (as reflected by the spot market indexes) that are out of the refiner’s control. However, the refiner typically does have some influence on the price paid/received relative to the market index through effective negotiation of individual trades and contracts.
Good commercial performance typically requires excellence in the following areas:
- Identifying available crudes and intermediates for purchase
- Estimating volumes of product that can be sold – Minimums and maximums, by type, quality and channel
- Forecasting crude and product prices
- Executing crude and product trades
- Arranging optimal crude delivery
- Executing product and intermediate sales – Spot and term, bulk and rack