Petroleum Industry to Be Reorganized in Bid to Boost Competitiveness
Marutani, Ichiro, The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)
The industry ministry has set out to create a framework to help reorganize the domestic petroleum industry, through which it hopes to improve the industry's global competitiveness.
The policy is meant to address the decreased demand for gasoline and other petroleum products due to the shrinking population and the spread of energy-saving products such as hybrid cars.
To promote the effective use of crude oil, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry is asking companies that refine and market petroleum to install equipment with sophisticated refinement capabilities.
An expert panel at the ministry confirmed at a meeting on Monday a policy to ask refiner-marketers to further increase their use of high-performance equipment. To meet the ministry's request, refiner-marketers would need to shutter inefficient facilities and update their equipment.
The goal is to promote consolidation and reorganization of oil refineries run by the refiner-marketers through investment in new equipment. By increasing the productivity of oil refineries, it is hoped that the price of petroleum products can be lowered, thereby increasing international competitiveness. …