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End of a golden era for refiners?

Refiners may struggle to keep making the profits of recent years, but there's life in the sector yet

Like upstream, the refining sector has been undergoing consolidation over the past decade. Bigger players are holding on to plum assets and smaller independents have adopted agile business models to eke out profits from what's left. Those who stuck with it when oil prices were over $100 a barrel and margins were correspondingly slim have reaped the benefits since crude prices slid in late 2014. Now they are wondering how long the good times can last. A little longer, at least, seems to be the answer, as high US shale oil production is keeping crude prices in check. But the overall picture is nuanced and complex. Opec's production cuts may not have brought the price impact the group wanted

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