European Refineries Shut, Jet Fuel Purchases Reach Highest Level image

Since the London Olympics and Euro 2012 soccer tournament will increase travel in the following months and since the refineries in the region are shuttered, the European jet fuel purchases are expected to reach the highest level in more than a year.

This month imports from Asia and the Middle East are expected to increase to around 1.9 million metric tons, the most since March 2011. After six refineries were closed this year, the rising shipments fill the growing demand of the European airlines such as British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group SA . The producers that benefit the most from this are Kuwait Petroleum Corp and India’s Reliance Industries Ltd., the largest refining complex in the world.

“We’ve got the Olympics and we’ve got quite a busy summer of tourism and sport expected,” Roy Jordan, an analyst at Facts Global Energy Inc. in London, said in a telephone interview. “We’re normally structurally tight on jet fuel in Europe and the fact that we’ve had so much refinery capacity down is one of the factors that’s left a gap” in supply, he said.

Refineries began to close after region’s high Brent crude prices and debt crisis made the fuel demand decrease and eroded processing profits. That is why even Europe’s largest independent refiner, Petroplus Holdings AG, had to file for insolvency and Coryton refinery in the U.K. closed its gates on June 6th.