The center of the liquid fuels business is the refinery. Understanding future pressures on both the beginning (crude production) and end (end-use consumption) of the supply chain requires an understanding of trends in refining and the evolution of refining margins. ESAI Energy publishes a monthly forecast of refining margins and trends in the refining industry in its Global Refining Outlook. The projections cover the next 12 months, except in April and October when they extend to 24 months and in July when they look out 5 years.

ESAI’s refining analysis was first developed in concert with its suite of long-term product studies, the earliest of which include The Global Gasoline Market published in 1991, The Global Middle Distillate Market in published in 1992 and the Global Residual Fuel Oil Market published in 1993. Since those foundation reports, ESAI has studied and projected refining margins from several different perspectives, including crude oil quality in the 1994 study on Global Crude Oil Quality to the year 2003, and fuel specifications in the 1997 study, The Clean Revolution: Asia’s Fuel Specifications. In 1992 and 1996, ESAI published the Refining and Distribution System of the Republics of the Former Soviet Union and Rebuilding Russia’s Refineries.

In 1999 and 2002, ESAI published Refining Margins after 2000, and Catching the Wave: Understanding the Factors Shaping US Refining Profitability through 2012. These studies combined crude oil quality, fuel specifications, economic trends, environmental policies and industry deregulation into a coherent view on the future of refining. In 2008, ESAI prepared a comparison of well to tank emissions of GHG emissions for both gasoline and diesel. In 2012, ESAI Energy published U.S. One-Two Punch: ESAI’s Analysis of the Atlantic basin Gasoline, Diesel and Jet Fuel Markets, 2012-2025. This study was followed by From Russia without Sulfur: Russian Oil Tax Reform Upends Global Petroleum Product Markets in 2014.

ESAI Energy undertakes proprietary studies for clients on topics related to building, modifying or valuing a refinery. In addition, ESAI’s fuel specifications and refinery databases have allowed our team to develop long term projections of supply and demand for petroleum products based on location and quality.

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