10% of Europe’s refineries will shut this decade according to a recent Bloomberg survey of European refining companies as drivers give gasoline short shift and cut back on discretionary journeys.
According to the IEA European oil consumption is headed for a fifth year of declines to the lowest level since 1994, while Essar Energy Plc estimates that two-thirds of European refineries lost money in 2011.
The report goes on to say that the losses are being compounded by the configuration of Europe’s refineries. Most of the plants, more than 50% of which were constructed in the wake of World War II, are geared toward gasoline production, though diesel now accounts for 75% of the region’s motor fuel needs.
A separate report highlighted the trend in gasoline versus diesel sales, focusing on the UK. According to the AA sales of gasoline have declined by 20% over the past five years. Over the same period diesel sales have risen by 14%.
The Petrol Retailers Association highlighted the trend towards diesel ”In 2000, 10% of new cars were diesel. Last year, over 50% of new cars were diesel”
Related article: UK petrol prices fall in March for first time since 2006