Japan's refining industry ripe for mergers, consolidation

Following deregulation of its downstream petroleum industry, Japan has found itself left with an inefficient, bloated refining and marketing system. In today's climate of mergers and acquisitions, this leaves the country's refiner-marketers ripe for further consolidation, following the recently announced merger of two major Japanese oil companies-Mitsubishi Oil Co. and Nippon Oil Co.-and the plan to consolidate their refining businesses (OGJ, Nov. 2, 1998, p. 42; and Nov. 9, 1998,

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