Oil refiners are going through a dark phase, one that has not only taken a toll on their profit margins, but that threatens to extend this harrowing narrative for the foreseeable future — a high crude oil price environment.
A typical day in an oil refinery would entail buying feedstock — crude oil used as input — and processing the said feedstock into a finished product such as diesel for sale. Ideally, any business would want to keep its cost of raw materials and production low in order to rake in sizable profits after selling the finished products. However for oil refiners, this ideal is increasingly becoming elusive. Painfully high crude prices have put great pressure on refiners' margins.