Originally Posted by MalcolmTucker
Because there are already enough refineries in the country to provide refined product for all the markets. No point duplicating facilities for a low margin business.
The data doesn't support your contention. We refine 1 barrel for every 3 we produce. Without more refineries, it will quickly become 1 barrel refined for every 4 barrels produced. The US actually refines more than they produce so they're creating value off the oil wealth of other nations. There's no reason why we can't get to a 1:1 level or beyond that like the Americans have.
Discarding the value of an industry because its low margin is really short sighted. Refineries are low margin, but you end up with a product that's far more valuable than crude: petroleum. Even more important, you're one step closer to building a petro-chemical industry as you can't have that without the refinery.
We need to stop behaving like a banana republic when it comes to our resources. If we want to remain a high income nation, we need to move up the value chain.