The world’s biggest oil companies, supported during crude’s collapse by a buoyant refining business, have lost that buffer as brimming fuel stockpiles swamp demand.
Profits from refining contracted 42 per cent last quarter from a year earlier to an all-time low since 2010. Refineries benefited from oil’s two-year slide that began in mid-2014 because the cost of the feedstock fell while fuel demand rose.
Refining margins are likely to stay “depressed” next year as inventories remain high; making it worse for oil companies crude’s continued weakness.
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