LONDON, April 19 A committee of British
lawmakers will examine the decline of the country's refining
industry and its potential implications on the security of
energy supplies, it said on Friday.
High costs, foreign competition and declining margins have
led in recent years to a dramatic consolidation in Europe's
refining industry, which today counts around 130 plants.
Just seven refineries remain in Britain after Coryton in
Essex, eastern England, closed last year.
The Energy and Climate Change Committee invited short
submissions of evidence from industry players and observers
about the potential energy security implications of refinery
The call for feedback comes as Murco has been unable
to find a buyer for its Milford Haven plant in Wales, which some
industry observers say is likely to face closure.
It also follows the first meeting of the Forum for EU
Refining last Friday to discuss the situation in the industry,
which covered topics including competitive pressure now felt
from Russia and U.S. unconventional energy.
The Petit Couronne refinery in northern France was the
latest European refinery to shut down after a court rejected two
takeover offers for the 84-year-old 162,000 barrels per day
(bpd) plant on Tuesday.
The deadline for responses to the UK parliamentary
investigation is May 20, while the next meeting of the Forum for
EU refining is in the autumn of 2013.