Dilemma for Oil Refiners as Surging Ship Costs Kill Margins

By Serene Cheong and Sharon Cho (Bloomberg) --Oil refiners hoping for some fourth-quarter gravy are facing disappointment as surging freight rates inflate the cost of buying crude. U.S. sanctions on Chinese shipping companies and Friday’s attack on an Iranian tanker have turbo-charged transport costs, with rates on the Persian Gulf to China route at almost six times this … [Read more...]

Oil Refining Executive Sees European Plants Halting After IMO 2020

By Saket Sundria and Bill Lehane (Bloomberg) --Multiple oil refineries in Europe will be too unprofitable to continue trading once the industry has dealt with sweeping new rules governing shipping fuel that start next year, according to an executive at a U.K. plant. Refineries globally are bracing for one of the biggest mandated changes in the the industry’s history -- rules … [Read more...]

Saudis Splurging in Asia to Win Loyal Oil Customers for Decades

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia is spending generously now on Asian refiners to lock in its position as the region’s biggest supplier of oil for decades to come. The Saudi national oil company is part of a group that’s building a processing plant in China and it teamed with Asia’s biggest refiner on another in Fujian province. Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi traveled to Beijing last … [Read more...]

Asian Crude Buyers Realize Mexican Oil May Not Have Been Such a Bargain

By Sharon Cho, Heesu Lee and Tsuyoshi Inajima (Bloomberg) -- A few months after snapping up the most heavily discounted Mexican oil in 20 years, Asian refiners are discovering some of these bargains may have been tainted. At least two buyers experienced difficulties in processing Mexican crude because of the chloride content, said people with knowledge of the matter who … [Read more...]

Record Gasoline Output to Curb Biggest U.S. Oil Glut in 85 Years

By Dan Murtaugh and Sheela Tobben (Bloomberg) -- Refiners are poised to make gasoline at a record pace this year, keeping the biggest U.S. crude glut in more than 80 years from overflowing storage. They’re enjoying the best margins in two years as they finish seasonal maintenance of their plants before the summer driving season. They’ll increase output to meet consumer … [Read more...]