Adnoc’s decision to pull the plug on a planned new 400,000 b/d refinery at the Ruwais downstream hub looks to be a watershed moment in the Middle East. With the energy transition accelerating a shift in global energy demand patterns, the economic case for capital-intensive refineries is weakening.

Even though the immediate financial outlook has improved markedly, with refining margins having strengthened considerably in recent months, the longer-term outlook is more questionable than ever. Will the market for the likes of gasoline, diesel and jet-kerosene in 30 years’ time be strong enough to justify such investments? (CONTINUED - 1088 WORDS)