June 2009

Columns

HPIn Europe: The future is big; the future is east

Refining margins have been off badly in the first half of 2009. In Europe, a couple of simpler refiners have, at least temporarily, taken their ball home. Is this just the way Europe weathers a recess..

Wright, Tim L., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Refining margins have been off badly in the first half of 2009. In Europe, a couple of simpler refiners have, at least temporarily, taken their ball home. Is this just the way Europe weathers a recession, or have the trade winds changed for good? BP's Global Indicator Margin is generally taken to be a broad indicator of refinery profitability. When the company announced a 62% drop in net profits for the first quarter, it broke out the downstream margins to illustrate the challenges it faces. For the second quarter of 2008, and the rest of that year, BP pegged northwest European refining margins at $7.35/bbl. By first quarter 2009, that number was down to $4.67. When a disastrous April mont

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