Emerging changes in environmental regulations in many Asian countries will significantly impact the petroleum industry. These changes include the implementation of more effective ambient air quality monitoring programs in many Asian countries, tightening of point source emission standards, and programs directed at vehicular emissions including changes to fuel specifications. This paper presents the current ambient air quality standards in selected Asian countries and highlights upcoming regulatory trends that will impact the industry. Case studies are presented for Hong Kong and the Philippines to demonstrate how these changes will be implemented in the next five years.

Vehicles are the largest contributor to urban air pollution. Hence, many regulatory programs focus on reducing vehicle emissions to improve air quality. Significant changes to fuel specifications, including the impact of region-wide reductions in fuel sulfur and benzene contents will be discussed. These changes will impact the petroleum industry, particularly in the refining sector. Measures that have been implemented to control vehicular emissions include the conversion of public transport vehicles to Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). As LPG and liquefied natural gas (LNG) usage increases, particularly due to environmental considerations, strategic changes will be required in the petroleum industry to profitably manage this transition.

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