Big Oil Challenged on Refinery Capacity


Oil giants have used limitations on refinery capacity to boost its pricing power, one consumer advocate claimed on CNBC's "Morning Call" -- though the industry defends itself by pointing to "record" gasoline production.

Oil companies control about 55% of the refinery market, giving them "much more control over the market," said Public Citizen president Joan Claybrook. She also accused the industry of misuse of power stemming from its level of market control.

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But Rayola Dougher, manager of the American Petroleum Institute, refuted Claybrook's conclusions and cited gasoline production levels to back up her stance.

Big oil firms have increased refinery capacity "by the equivalent of one new refinery per year for the past ten years, with plans to add an additional 1.6 million barrels a day," Dougher said. "We've had record production of gasoline so far this year."