February 2011

Special Report: Clean Fuels

Slurry-phase hydrocracking—possible solution to refining margins

Opportunity crudes require more hydrogen addition to upgrade orphan product streams into higher-value ‘clean’ products

Refinery margins are complex topic; margins are subject to substantial uncertainties and are impacted by global fluctuations in regional feed and product pricing structures. A conscientious analysis of historical data will indicate that for every one good year, on average, refiners are subject to seven years of depressed margins. New globalization trends, which include a changing transport-fuel supply/demand balance, geographic shift in consumption, soaring crude-oil prices, depressed natural-gas prices and impending regulations, all pose interesting challenges to the very survival of many small- and medium-sized refineries. Definitions of profitability. A simple analysis of refinery economi

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