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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, March 11, 2010

An example of the above

According to the LATimes, oil companies are looking at "permanent" refinery cutbacks because they're supposedly losing money on refining.

1) "Permanent" cutbacks? Wasn't it just a few years ago that the ridiculously high price of gas was blamed on a lack of refining capacity, and that we, as Americans, were asked to give tax breaks and bend environmental laws so they could build new refineries?

2) Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't gas pretty high right now, not really indicating a huge glut of overproduction?

The oil companies unbelievable argument.
Energy industry executives say they are facing up to what was previously inconceivable: that the nation's appetite for petroleum products may never return to levels seen earlier in the decade, even if a strong economic recovery takes hold.

"None of us will sell more gasoline than we did in 2007," Tony Heyward, group CEO for oil giant BP, said during a recent earnings teleconference.

More along the lines of my memory
"We know from internal documents from the last time we had a situation like this, in the 1990s, that there was an intentional strategy on the part of some companies to drive up profit margins by shuttering or closing refineries," said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's energy program.

"Consumer prices will be acutely sensitive to any significant change in refining capacity."


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