Environmentalists are trying to stop the various pipelines that need to be built to get Canadian crude to markets. Out of all of the pipeline projects, the Energy East Crude Oil Pipeline is the most important.
The pipeline will feed refineries including the St John Refinery, Canada's biggest. Currently, despite Canada's position as a major oil producer, refineries on the East coast cannot access Western Crude.
We often hear that Europe has too many refineries and that many need to close down. Yet we await in vain the announcements that will allow the remainder of the sector to make a better profit.
So whilst we were waiting, I thought it would be useful to identify which refineries are those that are at risk.
Let us start with Italy, a market with substantial refining capacity, that has seen demand shrink significantly in recent years. It is widely believed that ENI is to shut some or all of the following: Gela Refinery, Leghorn Livorno Refinery and Taranto Refinery. Of the other Italian refineries, Falconara Marittima Ancona Refinery is also thought to be a candidate. Other potential closure candidates have changed hands and are assumed to be safe for now.
France also needs to reduce its capacity but Total had promised back in 2009 not to close any more refineries until 2015. With the critical date just around the corner, Donges Refinery, Feyzin Refinery and Provence Refinery are those rumoured to be in the firing line.
When it comes to buyers regret however, nothing can surely come close to PKN Orlen's feelings towards the Mazeikiu Nafta Refinery, which has been a thorn in their side since the acquistion in 2006.
MOL is having similar feelings about Sisak Refinery, and is in a battle with the Croatian government over a potential closure. Despite investing in the plant, Hellenic can not make a profit from its Thessaloniki Refinery, and has not been running it for a while. Tenerife Refinery is in a similar state of limbo.