French refiners warn of investment shortfall

Despite the 6.1 billion franc record profits last year of the seven companies that comprise France's refining industry, their profitability remains insufficient to cover the big investments they will have to make in order to meet European Union specifications for fuels in 2005. Union Française des Industries Pétroliéres (UFIP) Pres. Philippe Trépant recently delivered that warning at a news conference. France's refiners are Total, Elf Aquitaine, Exxon Corp., Royal Dutch/Shell, BP Amoco plc, Mobil Corp., and Petrofina SA. (Total and Petrofina have agreed to merge, as have Exxon and Mobil.) Returns inadequate While France's strong dom...

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