Oil: Watch Out for US Refiners?

US refining margins have contracted in Q4 17 / January 18. Indications of corporate risk: Disappointing earnings at 2 out of 5 supermajors with explicit comments on margins. The largest East Coast refiner (PES) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Structural pressure from shale, new infrastructure, end of export restrictions; ethanol. Mitigation from strong end product demand – for now. Brent vs WTI spread contraction