As oil companies slash oil refining capacity, the operational health of the remaining units becomes increasingly important. A brief upset at a distillation unit or a fluid catalytic cracker on the US east coast can send gasoline futures prices sharply higher.
The immediacy of the effect on market prices means time is of the essence in learning about disruptions, and the startup and shutdown of refinery units. Genscape is the only company that has “eyes on the refinery” and does not rely on news of disruptions to leak into the market from operational or trading sources.
Genscape uses fixed infra-red cameras to monitor 179 different units at 30 refineries in North America. The refineries range from St. John in New Brunswick, Canada to El Paso, Texas. Among the units monitored, there are crude distillation units, hydrtotreaters, cokers and alkylation units, as well catalytic and hydro crackers.
Clients get alerts via email as soon as something significant happens. The email contains a link to a webpage with the most recent image from the affected refinery.