FOCUS: REFINING State of European refining industry is less bleak than reported

John H. Jenkins Pace Consultants Inc. Houston It is difficult to pick up a trade publication without reading of the imminent demise of the European refining industry. Major oil companies are combining operations to minimize costs. Refineries are being shuttered. And analysts are calling for the immediate closure of many more plants. There is little doubt that European cracking margins have fallen since the early 1990s, in step with the rest of the world. However, the refining industry in Europe does not, in the opinion of Pace Consultants Inc., suffer from some overriding fundamental flaw that dooms it to low margins forever. The intent of this article is to put som...

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