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Oil refining

Oil refining processes transform crude oils into finished products, including fuels and lubricants for automotive, ship and aircraft engines.

Refineries process crude oils into finished products by breaking them down into their components and selectively reconfigurating them into new products, such as fuels and lubricants for automotive, ship, and aircraft engines. Refining by-products can also be used in petrochemical processes to form materials, such as plastics and foams.

According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018, the EU has a refining capacity of more than 14 million barrels a day, representing around 14% of the total global capacities, implying that the EU is the third largest refining market after the US and China.

EU Refining Forum

The EU Refining Forum discusses planned regulatory proposals which may impact the refining industry and the EU's secure supply of petroleum products. It brings together representatives from the industry, EU countries, the European Parliament, and the European Commission, as well as other stakeholders.

The forum was created in 2013 and it is a key follow up to the previously held EU refining roundtable.

EU Refining fitness check

As part of its better regulation policy the Commission initiated a programme for Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) in 2012. This is a continuous process, affecting the whole policy cycle – from the design of a piece of legislation to implementation, enforcement, evaluation and, where justified, revision.

One of the actions possible under REFIT is a ‘Fitness Check’ which provides an evidence-based critical analysis of whether EU actions are proportionate to their objectives and delivering as expected. A fitness check pays particular attention to identifying any synergies (e.g. improved performance, simplification, lower costs, reduced burdens) or inefficiencies (e.g. excessive burdens, overlaps, gaps, inconsistencies and/or obsolete measures) within the group of measures which may have appeared over time, and help to identify the cumulative impact of the interventions covered, covering both costs and benefits.

The oil refining fitness check evaluated how the EU petroleum refining sector is affected by ten of the most relevant pieces of EU legislation in the fields of environment, climate action, taxation and energy. The analysis covered a wide range of important aspects including five key evaluation criteria (effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value). Consideration was also given to the sector’s competitiveness position from 2000 to 2012 and issues, such as excessive regulatory burden, overlaps, gaps inconsistencies or obsolete measures.