The Refining Industry in the North Atlantic
The Energy Journal, 1994, vol. Volume 15, issue Special Issue, 179-192
By 1993, refining capacity in Western Europe and North America was about in line with demand. The massive surplus in capacity evident in the early 1980s had been eliminated by reductions in capacity and increases in demand. This rebalancing, together with changes in the structure of crude pricing have, laid the basis for a more sound economic performance than has been the case, hitherto. Against this background there is a substantial investment requirement in the coming years, both positive, to take account of new business opportunities, and negative, needed just to stay in business. These latter investments stem from environmental legislation, tightening the specifications required both for finished products and operations of refineries. These requirements, coming on top of the poor profit performance of the last ten years have led to continued rationalisation by the industry despite evidence of emerging bottlenecks.
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