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Refining's big expansion

Teapots are vying with the state giants in China, while India and the Middle East are ramping up

Investors aren't doing much to build new refining capacity in Europe and North America, but Asia, the Middle East and Africa are another story. There, demand continues to grow and governments want to cut down on import bills (or beef up export capacity) and improve energy security. In the first half of 2017, global demand for refined products outpaced expansion in crude distillation unit (CDU) capacity, even without allowing for maintenance shutdowns and output reductions due to technical problems. So capacity utilisation remained high. The longer-term trend of growth in global CDU capacity was actually interrupted in early 2017, due in part to a scaling back of capacity in Japan. But busi

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