The EU Impact on Energy and Refining

Landscape

Two disturbing articles recently about the impact of EU regulation on the Oil & Gas industry, energy, jobs and economy.

From Downstream Today, news that the once massive Shell Stanlow refinery on the Wirral is reducing capacity by one third and cutting more jobs.  The reasons;

Years of falling demand, exceptionally strict European Union regulations and high operating costs have created a climate that has had a chilling effect on investment in refinery upgrades and expansions in the region.

So once again our friends in Brussels, through bureaucracy and regulation drive up the cost of doing business.  High operating costs translates as high energy costs as a result of crippling green levies (courtesy of Brussels and UK Government) that impact industrial as well as domestic energy bills.

And

Refined products from the U.S. and Asia, along with European Union (EU) regulations that do not apply to these imports, greatly diminish the profitability of refining in Europe as well as the appetite for investing in the sector

So our reluctance to embrace shale gas (although to his credit Dave C is an advocate) is also a factor, leading to cheaper imports and stifling our own economy.

An even more critical article from Hydrocarbon Processing paints an even starker picture, suggesting that Europe risks losing 30m jobs;

The US shale-gas boom is placing 30 million jobs at risk in Europe as companies with greater reliance on energy contend with higher fuel prices than their American counterparts, the International Energy Agency said.

Manufacturers of petrochemicals, aluminium, fertilizers and plastics are leaving Europe to take advantage of booming US production of natural gas from shale rock formations, Fatih Birol, chief economist for the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based adviser to 29 nations, said at a conference in London.

“Many petrochemicals companies in central Europe are moving out,” Birol said. “Thirty million jobs are in danger.”

So a fairly gloomy picture – whether 30m jobs are really at risk is perhaps the most pessimistic estimate – but there’s no doubt that the meddling of the EU is, once again, bad for Britain.

 

 

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