Refiners face continued uncertainty in 2003

During the past few years, refiners throughout the world have been subject to the vagaries of crude and product markets. Many analysts feel that this trend will continue in 2003; those companies that continue to own and operate refineries face an uncertain future, especially regarding profit margins.Refiners will have to face this unclear future with the certainty that they will have to invest in new units and upgrades in order to produce cleaner fuels. Click here to enlarge imageWorldwide refining capacity, however, is at an all-time high (Fig. 1). The fact that refiners are actively adding capacity, whether through grassroots units or capacity creep, points to a subdued optimism that p...

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