Italian refiner seeks boost from supply and trading unit

Italy’s Saras is taking advantage of a well-supplied crude market and the flexibility of its Sardinia refinery to seek out trading opportunities, but challenges loom in the form of onerous financial regulations and the structural difficulties of Europe’s refining sector

Saras refinery at Sarroch
Saras’s core asset: its 300,000bpd refinery at Sarroch on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia

This year has seen a reversal of fortune for the Italian refiner Saras. Like many European refiners, it went through a difficult patch in recent years, but in the first quarter of 2015, Saras earned a net profit of €74.2 million ($81.9 million), after a €261.8 million ($291.9 million) loss in 2014.

Saras's rebound was largely due to a surge in refining margins – the difference between the price refiners pay for crude oil and the price they get for the gasoline, diesel and other refined products

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