Product sulfur specs will determine future refining configurations

Mandated reductions in refined products' sulfur levels, both gasoline and diesel, are the most significant factors in refiners' spending plans for the next few years.The changing fuel regulations in the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America will also force refiners that import gasoline and diesel into those regions to invest additional capital.Clean fuels regulations will compel many companies to reevaluate their overall operations and could lead to the closure of smaller, less efficient refineries, according to Ken Otto, senior vice-president with Purvin & Gertz Inc., Houston.Investment costs for ultralow-sulfur gasoline (ULSG) in the US are about $8 billon and costs for ultralow-s...

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