Market Hotline: US refining margins looking robust in 2nd quarter

The recent spurt in US gasoline prices cannot be blamed solely on rising crude oil prices. The other culprit is the current state of the US refining and products distribution infrastructure. That situation was created by decades of ever more-stringent, government-imposed fuel formula specifications designed to improve the nation's air quality. And it will get worse before it gets better.For refiners observing the latest emerging government mandates for changing fuel formulas-reduced sulfur limits, phase-outs and bans of methyl tertiary butyl ether, and a renewables (ethanol, really) quota-the view must, as Oscar Wilde said while watching the gallows being built, "concentrate the mind ...

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