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Refining through the Energy Transition: are the Majors ready?

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19 August 2020

Refining through the Energy Transition: are the Majors ready?

Report summary

The refining business had been under strain before COVID-19 struck. Refiners are now more focused than ever to keep their portfolios profitable and sustainable for the long run. The Majors remain cash positive, but profitability varies greatly within their portfolios, and across companies. As the impact of COVID-19 and the energy transition on demand become more apparent, the future looks more challenging than initially thought. But margin isn't everything. Long run viability also means lowering emissions, deeper integration and using advanced data and technology to reduce costs. However, even the most responsive companies struggled to keep pace with the recent rate of change. As a consequence, some are embarking on an unprecedented portfolio re-engineering exercise over the next decade to high-grade their refining business. Others are investing to stay competitive. The weakest assets will cease crude oil refining and look instead to repurposed as storage or bio-refining facilities.

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