Background Image

Annual World Refining Outlook 2024

A detailed assessment of the mid/long-term operating environment for global refining and the implications for products trade.

Download Brochure &
Request a Trial


Request a Trial



A detailed assessment of the mid/long-term operating environment for global refining and the implications for the oil products trade. We forecast products demand and review refinery investments to identify the likely pressures on the refining sector and what this could mean for refining margins until 2050.

With the full recovery of global oil demand (apart from jet fuel demand) from the COVID-19 crisis, refiners are currently enjoying high refinery margins due to a combination of the following factors:

  • The diversion of ships away from the Red Sea is putting more oil at sea and pushing up freight rates.
  • Sanctions on Russian oil have forced global oil trade to reshuffle.
  • COVID-19 forced many refinery closures for a variety of reasons: the prospect of low margins, the high cost of staying in business and growing ESG pressure.
  • More closures will follow in 2024-2026, mostly in West of Suez.

Despite the closures in the past few years, we have seen a significant increase in new capacities. Over the last 12 months, several major grassroots refineries have ramped up, including Al-Zour, Duqm and Dangote.

The primary capacity additions for the rest of this decade will be concentrated East of Suez, led by China, followed by India and the Middle East. China continues to lead the way in terms of new capacity, with a strong focus on petrochemical feedstock. It also controls throughput and utilisation via crude import and product export quotas.

Our assessment of new refining capacities dries up after 2029, but there are other high-potential projects (2.6 mmb/d) that could emerge later, mostly in Asia and the Middle East.

Overall, refining capacity and demand growth are well matched for the next ten years. Consequently, we continue to forecast a healthy margin environment for refiners over the next ten years.

In terms of product demand, our base case assumes global total oil demand to reach a plateau of around 111 mmb/d during the first half of the 2030s, compared with 101 mmb/d in 2019.

The demand growth profile, however, is very different across regions, with the main source of demand growth being non-OECD countries, led by non-OECD Asia (mainly China and India), with Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East also contributing to the upside. Mature markets like Europe and North America will see their usage of oil products drop off.

As such, we expect refineries in Europe and the US to face bigger downwards pressure than East of Suez. We expect large scale capacity closures will be needed in the Atlantic Basin from the mid-2030s onwards, lasting throughout the 2040s and beyond. As total oil demand declines toward 102 mmb/d by 2050, similar pressures and closures will take place in Asia from the 2040s onwards.

Such pressures are not new to refiners, who have always adapted to their margin and legislative environment. The next generation will face these challenges knowing the era of fossil fuel dependence is coming to an end, but also aware that this is still some way off.

In the meantime, the margin environment will continue to reward refiners, especially the more commercially savvy ones.


Key Areas Addressed

  • Refining Capacity Additions and Closures
  • Refinery Utilisation and Margins
  • Product Cracks
  • Balances and Trade Flows


  • PDF copy of the report (PowerPoint layout).
  • All associated tables available in Excel (if required).
  • FGE consultants will be available for a conference call, Zoom/Teams meeting, or a general meeting to present and discuss the key findings of the report.

Scope of Coverage

  • Products
    • Crude Oil
    • LPG
    • Naphtha
    • Gasoline
    • Jet/Kerosene
    • Gasoil
    • Fuel Oil
  • Table of Contents
    • Executive Summary
    • Refining Capacity and Operations
    • Product Cracks and Refinery Margins
    • Product Balances and Trade Flows
    • Oil Demand
    • Crude Oil Supply and Price Forecast
  • Data
    • Prices and Margins (Crude and Products)
    • Refining Capacity by Sub-Region
    • Refinery Crude Runs by Region
    • Regional Net Trade Balances by Product
    • Firm/Likely Refinery Projects by Region
    • Refinery Utilisation Rates by Region
    • Product Balances by Region
    • Regional Demand by Product (up to 2050)

This Service Will Add Value To

  • Downstream Operators Needing a perspective on the extent to which the emerging pressures on their business come from local or international sources, or a combination of the two.
  • Investors Seeking authoritative data and analysis for assessing their portfolio strategies.
  • Crude Oil Producers Looking for changing trends in crude oil demand, prices, and quality considerations.
  • Integrated Companies Seeking an outside perspective on the likely future economic operating environment of the refining sector
  • Products Traders Trying to identify emerging underlying shifts in trade flows.
  • Shipping Operators Conducting analysis of potential tanker demand.
Request Call Back

To request a call back from a member of our sales team, please complete the below form.