Domestic oil and gas production helps struggling refineries

American oil and gas refineries, which are expensive to run and “barely eke out a return,” were suffering five years ago from the purchase and costly transport of expensive oil from Africa and the Middle East, as well as the soaring cost of natural gas, which powers many refineries, The New York Times reports.  The U.S. shale boom has driven the price of natural gas down 60 percent over the last four years and domestic crude oil is several dollars a barrel cheaper than international prices; combined, these circumstances amount to savings so substantial that these refineries are not only breaking even, but making a profit, the article said. For more, read the full story.