Publications: Notes at the Margin

Royal Dutch Shell surprised some in the financial community last week when it warned that its earnings would be well below expectations. Shell’s projected fourth-quarter earnings were $2.9 billion, an almost fifty-percent cut from year-ago earnings in the same quarter. The authors of a Financial Times article point to several causes for this loss but single out refining as an important factor. The Shell experience raises an interesting question: Is refining a sunset industry? If it is, then a second question arises: What are the implications of this? This week's report discusses both issues.


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