21 Apr 1999

EU oil refining industry costs of changing gasoline and diesel fuel characteristics

Report no. 99/56: This report presents the results of a study to assess the EU-15 refining industry implications of changing gasoline and diesel fuel characteristics, for the year 2005 onwards. The study’s starting point is the EU Council Common Position on the AO1 proposed the year 2000 road fuels, i.e. gasoline aromatics 42%, sulphur 150 ppm, olefins 18% and diesel cetane number (CN) 51, sulphur 350 ppm.

The costs to oil refiners and the CO2 emissions effects have been calculated with regards to the changes to gasoline and diesel fuel characteristics given in the Fuels Directive (98/70/EC) agreed in Conciliation. These are for gasoline: sulphur content from 150 ppm to 50 ppm and aromatics content from 42% to 35%; for diesel: sulphur content from 350 ppm to 50 ppm. In addition, an increase in CN from 51 to 55 and further towards 58, if achievable, is reported on. The complex interactive analysis was carried out using a purpose-built supply/demand refinery LP model featuring four refinery types and seven regions. This degree of definition is essential to reduce the over optimisation of such models which otherwise seriously underestimate effects.

On the other hand, some component transfers between refinery types are allowed. This approach results in some equalisation of qualities (especially aromatics and olefins contents of gasoline) and provides some low-cost networking solutions. The results are published in this report and in the associated detailed tabulations available as computer files to assist in the analysis of fuel-related vehicle emissions measures. The single parameter cost for reformulation depends on the sequence applied as a result of synergy or antagonism between the required processing needs. The CO2 emissions effects are in the unwanted direction, reflecting additional fuel and hydrogen in processing.

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