By JENNY GROSS
BRUSSELS -- The depressed outlook for European refiners is
unlikely to improve in the next two years as the industry's
export market shrinks and excess volumes of gasoline build,
Simon Redmond, director at Standard & Poors, said on
the sidelines of the 6th Annual European Refining Markets Conference.
He said this gloomy outlook is deterring investors from
injecting money into the sector, but without upgrades the
industry won't be competitive in the long term.
Lenders may say, at some point, we're not going to
roll on to next year - we might want out, he said.
Declining demand for fuel in Europe as cars become more fuel
efficient amid ample supply of products like gasoline has put
the industry at risk.
Since 2009, at least five European refiners have shut, 13 have
changed ownership and three more are for sale.
The US is also importing fewer products from Europe thanks
to access to cheap shale gas and strong refining margins there. Excess
volumes of gasoline are struggling to find a home.
Our traditional export market is disappearing,
said Isabelle Muller, secretary general of Europia, which
represents the oil refining and marketing industry in
Even more European refineries are likely to close in the
coming years as capacity in the European market far outweighs
demand, Ms. Muller said.
Dow Jones Newswires