1998 a boom year for European downstream

Most of the petroleum industry was hit hard by low oil prices last year, but for the European downstream industry, 1998 will be remembered as a record year. This is the view of Petroleum Finance Co. (Petrofinance), Paris, which said the average downstream return on assets was about 9.3% last year, the highest level in Europe since 1991, when the Persian Gulf war artificially boosted profits. "Most European downstream players saw their profits rise by more than 30%," said Petrofinance, "with an average profits rise of more than 45%, as strong gains downstream helped offset part of the heavy declines recorded in the upstream sector." Demand, profits up The analyst sa...

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