The UK’s oil refining industry supplies over 30% of the primary energy used by consumers in the UK and manufactures over 90% of the petroleum products sold in the UK.
UK oil refining capacity has declined from 18 refineries in the late 1970s to seven today. With two refineries having closed between 2009 and 2012, the loss of further UK refining capability may pose a risk to energy security of supply and resilience, by increasing dependence on imports.
A Deloitte report commissioned by DECC in 2010 concluded that UK refineries were facing increased pressure from a number of different sources, including increased competition from refineries in the Middle East and Asia, expected slow growth in demand and increasingly stringent environmental standards.
The Committee seeks to investigate the potential energy security implications of refinery closures and what needs to be done in order to maintain a suitable baseline level of capacity.