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US refiners slip into the red

Covid-19 demand destruction brings shut-ins and severe financial losses to the once-booming sector

The coronavirus has accelerated another wave of closures, consolidations and conversions in the US oil refining industry, after a decade of sky-high profits and growth. Plateauing fuel consumption, tighter environmental regulations and increased overseas competition—especially a number of mega-refining projects, primarily in China and the Middle East, slated to come online between 2021-24—were expected to negatively impact the US industry later this decade. But a sea of red ink in recent quarters, courtesy of the collapse in global petroleum product consumption and refining margins, has brought the timetable forward. In terms of closures, European major Shell will begin shuttering its Con



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