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Preparing for MARPOL and the .50% Sulfur Emissions Cap

Presented By

Seeking Panelists -


The IMO lowers the cap on sulfur emissions to 0.50% by 2020. A fundamental question for meeting the regulation is: will shippers install scrubbers or will refiners provide a lower sulfur fuel.

This panel discussion will focus mainly on risks and opportunities for compliance by refiners. Refiners have several options.

  1. Reduce sulfur production through crude slate. Changing to a sweeter crude slate reduces residue production, however sweeter crudes reduce refinery margins since they trade at higher differential and their price will increase with demand in 2020.
  2. Substantial investment in upgrading fuel oil residues to gasoil grades. Refiners can reconfigure by building coker, visbreakers and crackers to supply compliant bunker fuels. Fuel components will be low sulfur atmospheric residues, vacuum gas oil (VGO), hydrotreated blendstocks and gas oils.
  3. Desulfurization of residual fuel oil and blend with low sulfur gasoils. More investment required. These units cost more than revamping and have little demand.
  4. Residue destruction – stopping the production of fuel oil – requires more capital outlay.
  5. Do nothing. For “non-complex” refiners tied to high sulfur crude sources, and with low conversion capability, responding appropriately to IMO regulation could be a matter of existence.

What will you do? Join the discussion and be informed.

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