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Regulations to reduce air pollution put smaller refiners at a disadvantage

International Maritime Organization regulations aimed at reducing the sulfur content in marine fuel by over 85% beginning in 2020 in a bid to curb air pollution are expected to have a mixed impact on the US refining industry. Big refiners on the US Gulf Coast have started upgrading their facilities, while many smaller refiners on the East Coast can't afford to modernize their plants to process oil into cleaner fuels and will likely face an excess of high-sulfur bunker fuel that they'll need to sell at very low prices, said Clint Follette of the Boston Consulting Group.

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