Processing: Refining focus swings from clean fuels to adding capacity

Refiners throughout the world will turn their focus in 2007 to expanding crude distillation capacity and expanding the use of renewable fuels. Last year, refiners, especially in the US, concentrated their efforts and capital spending on units for the production of clean fuels.Any free capital will now go into projects to expand distillation capacity or to add coking or hydrocracking capacity, which will allow refiners to run heavier and less-expensive crudes.Outside the US, refiners will be concerned with maintaining enough production to keep up with demand, which is growing very quickly in some regions, especially China and India. Other areas, such as the Middle East, are adding capacity...

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