Oil refiners baulk at rising environmental costs

The UK's oil companies are projecting a 60% increase in their investments in environmental protection at refineries and downstream facilities over the next four years. Forthcoming EC legislative proposals could push the figure still higher, and the industry is now urging regulators not to proceed with controls on hydrocarbon emissions from car refuelling and sulphur in heating oils on the grounds of their poor cost-effectiveness.

The oil industry has been making increasingly vociferous claims in recent months that current and planned EC environmental legislation is not affordable at a time when refining margins are being squeezed by the continuing glut in oil supplies. A conference late last year heard that the industry may need to invest about $70 billion by the end of the century if all the legislative plans come to fruition (ENDS Report 214, pp 4-5

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