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 gloomy outlook is deterring investors.
Europe has always had surplus gasoline since it is a “diesel” economy much like rest of the world. Gasoline is only a byproduct of making diesel which is main transportation fuel in most of the world except for US & Africa.
European refineries are shutting down & changing ownership for same reason they are in US – they are refineries with little to no bottoms handling units & are over 70+ years old and dont have metallurgy (without significant upgrades) to handle heavier & sour crudes of today. The expansion & addition cycle has most countries with surplus capacity at end of 2006-2011 cycle & especially so operating at 80-84% utilization rate until demand and economies recover.
………….When its darkest ………..the “stars” come out.