Shale oil brings some hope for eastern oil refineries

The oil refining sector has suffered around most of the world in recent years, as they struggle to deal with high crude oil prices and slackening demand, particularly in the wake of the recent financial crisis.

Reuters reports that one of the best hopes for U.S. oil refining plants is the growth of unconventional oil production from shale deposits around the country.

Several older oil refineries around the U.S. have closed their doors in recent years, particularly in the northeast where access to cheaper shale oil has been limited, and interest in buying these expensive plants has remained minimal.

But Sunoco Inc. reports that it has received interest in one important oil refinery in the northeast, a critical resource for the region with a capacity of 335,000 barrels per day.

While many companies have had difficulty transporting enough shale oil to their refineries in the east to be economical, one company that provides sand for fracking operations believes that it can pull together the necessary infrastructure.

Despite this limited interest, National Geographic notes that one of the most important oil refining plants on the East Coast, the Marcus Hook plant near Philadelphia, is likely to shut down permanently this summer.

Further reports on the oil refining industry can be found at PennEnergy's Research area.

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