US FREEZE HITS EUROPE’S FUEL OIL EXPORTS

Written by on March 1, 2021

THE FREEZE-DRIVEN SHUTTERING OF CORE SECTIONS OF THE U.S. REFINING SYSTEM ISN’T ALL GOOD NEWS FOR RIVAL PLANTS IN EUROPE. DOWN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL, LOSSES ARE DEEPENING.

WHILE U.S. SHUTDOWNS MEAN LESS COMPETITION FOR EUROPEAN REFINERS IN SUPPLYING GASOLINE AND DIESEL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC, THEY ALSO REMOVE AN IMPORTANT EXPORT MARKET FOR THE REMNANTS OF THE REFINING PROCESS – PRODUCTS KNOWN AS FUEL OIL.

WITH MUCH OF THE U.S. GULF COAST IN RECOVERY MODE AFTER FEBRUARY’S EXTREME WEATHER, MANY OF THOSE BARRELS NEED A NEW HOME. THAT IS ACTING AS A DRAG ON MARGINS FOR THOSE REFINERIES THAT CHURN OUT RELATIVELY LARGE AMOUNTS OF HIGHER-SULFUR FUEL OIL.


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