September 2009

Columns

HPIn Europe: Refiners' great plans look badly awry in 2009

In September 2004, with anticipation of that year's European Refining Technology Conference, I summoned up an image of a ring of refining VPs around the Atlantic basin looking at billion-dollar invest..

Wright, Tim L., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In September 2004, with anticipation of that year's European Refining Technology Conference, I summoned up an image of a ring of refining VPs around the Atlantic basin looking at billion-dollar investments to expand and upgrade their sites and wondering whether to say, "Okay, let's do it." What they would have given then to have the perspective that we have now. Reasons to raise capacity. In 2004, there were reasons to be expansive. New fuel specs had been good for business. European Brent cracking margins had risen after changing to 50-ppm-sulfur fuels. In the summer of 2004, that same average margin, as measured in BP's global indicator, broke ground above $5, while West Texas sour cokin

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