Japan’s refiners facing hard choices, must seek alliances to ease closings

Japanese refiners face a surplus of capacity at a time of massive global refining surpluses.Analysis by the East-West Center, Honolulu, of Japan’s oil-product demand and exports outlook estimates Japan’s excess refining capacity for 2009 at 780,000 b/d, 990,000 b/d for 2010, and 1.4 million b/d for 2015. These estimates are based on current refining capacity and assume 93% yield for main petroleum fuels.To optimize production, logistics, and commercial competitiveness, Japan’s refiners must make strategic and innovative decisions because petroleum will continue to be a vital mineral used mainly for transportation and as feedstock for petrochemical production. And petrole...

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