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The Refining Industry in the North Atlantic

Keith Hamm

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume 15
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-NoSI-10
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Abstract:
By 1993, refining capacity in Western Europe and North America was about in line with demand. The massive surplus in capacity evident in the early 1980s had been eliminated by reductions in capacity and increases in demand. This rebalancing, together with changes in the structure of crude pricing have, laid the basis for a more sound economic performance than has been the case, hitherto. Against this background there is a substantial investment requirement in the coming years, both positive, to take account of new business opportunities, and negative, needed just to stay in business. These latter investments stem from environmental legislation, tightening the specifications required both for finished products and operations of refineries. These requirements, coming on top of the poor profit performance of the last ten years have led to continued rationalisation by the industry despite evidence of emerging bottlenecks.



Refining in the Far East: Its Potential and Constraints

Hoesung Lee and Dennis Eklof

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume 15
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-NoSI-11
View Abstract

Abstract:
This paper explores the outlook for oil product demand growth in the Far East, and the implications for future refinery capacity requirements. These requirements are compared to the industries announced expansion plans to evaluate potential future market positions. The potential for increased supplies from other geographic regions, mainly Middle East, is also explored. Finally, estimates of the required capital investments are discussed.



What Does It All Mean?

Edward W. Erickson

Year: 1994
Volume: Volume 15
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol15-NoSI-19
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Abstract:
Three hypotheses about future market balances in the world petroleum market are identified in this paper. Two are relatively benign and one is more harsh. Examination of constraints upon OPEC behavior and increasing market and policy sophistication in consuming countries suggests that some combination of the more benign hypotheses is apt to prevail.



Estimating Plant Level Energy Efficiency with a Stochastic Frontier

Gale A. Boyd

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-No2-2
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Abstract:
A common distinguishing feature of engineering models is that they explicitly represent best practice technologies, while parametric/statistical models represent average practice. It is more useful to energy management or goal setting to have a measure of energy performance capable of answering the question, �How close is observed performance from the industry best practice?� This paper presents a parametric/statistical approach to measure best practice. The results show how well a plant performs relative to the industry. A stochastic frontier regression analysis is used to model plant level energy use, separating energy into systematic effects, inefficiency, and random error. One advantage is that physical product mix can be included, avoiding the problem of aggregating output to define a single energy/output ratio to measure energy intensity. The paper outlines the methods and gives an example of the analysis conducted for a non-public micro-dataset of wet corn milling plants.



Decomposing Crude Price Differentials: Domestic Shipping Constraints or the Crude Oil Export Ban?

Mark Agerton and Gregory B. Upton Jr.

Year: 2019
Volume: Volume 40
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.40.3.mage
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Abstract:
Over the past decade the primary U.S. crude benchmark, WTI, diverged considerably from its foreign counterpart, Brent, sometimes selling at a steep discount. Some studies pointed to the ban on exporting U.S. crude oil production as the main culprit for this divergence. We find that scarce domestic pipeline capacity explains half to three quarters of the deviation of mid-continent crude oil prices from their long-run relationship with Brent crude. We are unable to find evidence that mismatch between domestic refining configurations and domestic crude characteristics contributed significantly to this deviation. This implies that the short-run deleterious effects of the export ban may have been exaggerated.



Closer to One Great Pool? Evidence from Structural Breaks in Oil Price Differentials

Michael Plante and Grant Strickler

Year: 2021
Volume: Volume 42
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.2.mpla
View Abstract

Abstract:
We show that the oil market has become closer to �one great pool,� in the sense that price differentials between crude oils of different qualities have generally become smaller over time. We document, in particular, that many of these price differentials experienced a major structural break in or around 2008, after which there was a marked reduction in their means and volatilities. Differentials between residual fuel oil, a low-quality fuel, and higher-valued products, such as gasoline and diesel, experienced similar breaks during the same time period. A growing ability of the global refinery sector to process lower-quality crude oil and the U.S. shale boom, which has unexpectedly boosted the supply of high-quality crude oil, are two factors consistent with these changes. Differentials between crude oils of similar quality in general did not experience breaks in or around 2008, although we do find evidence of breaks at other times.



Do Foreign Gifts Buy Corporate Political Action? Evidence from the Saudi Crude Discount Program

Jennifer R. Peck

Year: 2021
Volume: Volume 42
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.3.jpec
View Abstract

Abstract:
Between 1991 and 2003, Saudi Aramco sold crude to U.S. refineries at a substantial discount, with a total cost of approximately 8.5 billion dollars. This paper assesses the incidence of these discount rents in the U.S. market and yields the first empirical evidence for the use of oil as a tool of political leverage through transfers to American firms. Using panel variation in discount receipts, I find that rents were captured by refiners as profits. Discounts were also associated with increases in refiners� political donations and strategic reallocations of these contributions.





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