Fuels Study

Compare your refinery operations to your peers to gain strategic insight in financial profit performance, operating expenses, reliability and maintenance, energy efficiency, staffing, and product quality.


As the industry transitions from one of the highest margin environments in refining history, the continued importance of operational expense discipline while driving high reliability remains imperative. To accomplish this and gain additional insights and intelligence, understanding refinery performance compared to global and regional competitive positioning remains the highest priority to adapt strategic plans and drive performance improvement programs.

Participation in our Worldwide Fuels Refinery Performance Analysis (Fuels Study) ensures you know where your refinery stands in all key performance areas. The study provides valuable, data-driven insight, including industry trends, to guide performance improvement efforts. Participation provides you the ability to compare your operations to your peers in terms of financial profit performance, operating expenses, reliability and maintenance, energy efficiency, staffing, and product quality.

Learn What's New in the Upcoming Study


More than 300 refineries worldwide participated in recent studies to identify improvement opportunities. Return on investment for study participation can be attained by closing just 0.1% of identified gaps.

  • How reliable are my refinery facilities?
  • How does my equipment utilization compare?
  • Are my operating expenses comparable to companies with similar facilities?
  • Do my facilities produce competitive gross margin based on utilization and complexity?
  • How do I compare across the range of performance in the industry?
  • Are your maintenance costs driven by efficiency or demand?
  • How do I bridge my cash margin to what is possible based on my refinery configuration and location (Figure 2)?
  • How do I compare to the global industry on the cost of production of transportation fuels?

Our wide range of services helps study participants structure their performance improvement, including the development of customized peer groups, formulation of expense/margin optimization plans, and workshops that demonstrate how to leverage your data. We also offer expert services, post-study, to help you prioritize opportunities to close performance gaps, set realistic targets, and improve results.

The study identifies key areas where additional value can be found to improve overall margin performance through operational cost savings or margin enhancements.

Figure 1. Opportunities to Capture Value

 

Figure 2. Margin and Carbon Emissions

The impact of carbon taxes on net cash margin will play an increasing important part of the overall profitability of refineries. By participating in the upcoming study, refiners can identify how your site is positioned relative to others in the industry. Refiners with high carbon emissions will need to review long-term strategies to remain competitive. 

Why Participate?

  • Determine competitive positions using standard industry peer groups.
  • Develop customized peer groups to assess specific performance shortfalls.
  • Formulate expense/margin optimization plans to eliminate shortfalls.
  • Establish performance targets and measure progress using Solomon metrics.
  • Demonstrate performance/capability to joint-venture partners and financial institutions.

Study Deliverables

Study participants receive the following:

  • Performance rankings on a global, regional, and peer group basis for all performance areas.
  • Metrics and indicators for all peer groups, including historical trends.
  • An economic gap analysis versus global high-performing peers.
  • Presentation of comparative performance and gap analysis to gain valuable insights to help set future strategies.

Study Scope

Understanding the practices of top performers gives specific insight to guide you on your reliability journey. The established metrics are:

  • Sustainability
  • Reliability & Maintenance
  • Staffing
  • Margin & Yields
  • Operating Expenses (OpEx)
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Gain Actionable Insight

Learn How You Can Participate

Our robust performance benchmarking delivers actionable insights for continuous improvement. The competitive bar is being raised as never before. Are your facilities keeping up? Participate in the Fuels Study to manage risks, develop intelligence-based business strategies, and set an achievable improvement plan for your refineries.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A. The Fuels Study is a comparative performance analysis that uses proprietary data to provide participants with a comprehensive assessment of their refineries’ performance against industry top performers. The study provides valuable, data-driven insight and information, including industry trends, to guide performance improvement efforts. Participation provides you the ability to compare your operations to your peers in terms of financial profit performance, operating expenses, reliability and maintenance, energy efficiency, staffing, and product quality.

A. Recognizing the growing importance of renewable fuels, Solomon introduced factors and standards for renewable fuels processing units in the 2022 study. In our upcoming study, plans are in place to expand the scope of analysis to include a broader range of units and provide standalone non-fossil renewable processing facilities to compare their economic performance with others.

A. The study leverages data from the world’s largest database of global performance data and metrics for fuels and lube refiners to provide unique insights and maximize your return on investment. Over 320 refineries worldwide use the Fuels and Lube Study to identify improvement opportunities. The database has been built over 40 years and includes data from world leading refiners and companies.

A. The study results can be leveraged in many ways to improve performance and give you specific insight to guide you on your reliability journey. Our wide range of services helps study participants structure their performance improvement, including the development of customized peer groups, formulation of expense/margin optimization plans, and workshops that show you how to leverage your data. We also offer expert services, post-study, to help you prioritize opportunities to close performance gaps, set realistic targets, and improve results.

Data Quality, Benchmarking Methodology

A Foundation for Effective Comparative Performance Analysis and Decision Support

We prioritize the integrity and confidentiality of participant-submitted data and rigorously review that data before benchmarking begins. Then, we employ our normalization process and benchmarking methodology to provide valuable and trusted peer group comparisons that deliver meaningful KPIs. Finally, our staff of senior consultants apply their deep industry experience to develop practical insight and recommendations to enable your success.

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