U.S. Could Become Net Exporter of Gasoline in Near Future

Oilrefinery

Did that headline just blow your mind? Get used to it. The world of transportation fuel has entered bizarre, uneven times, and this could lead to strange relationships on both the supply and demand sides of the equation, according to a study done by the global management consulting firm Booz & Company.

In the very near future the U.S. could become a net exporter of gasoline. How does this make sense considering that this country will be a massive oil importer for the foreseeable future? The answer relies on a confluence of several factors.

First of all, the U.S. has a refining capacity that many developing countries simply cannot match, yet these countries (such as India) will soon see the introduction of a massive number of vehicles to their roads thanks to cars like the $2,500 Tata Nano. In other words, they are about to get very thirsty.

At the same time, American demand for fuel continues to hit new lows due to the high price of gas. Through August, the U.S. had imported 8.6% less gasoline in 2008 than it did in that period in 2007 — down from 1.142 million barrels of gas to 1.044 million. By 2010, we will have the first plug-in electric vehicles, and the required mandate for biofuels will continue to increase. This should allow demand for gas to continue to fall.

The result? America could be importing oil to sell gasoline to India. How's that for a head-trip?

Shifts in Energy Supply/Demand and Biofuels Capacity Challenging Refining Industry; US Could Become a Net Exporter of Gasoline (Green Car Congress)

By Stephen Markley | August 28, 2008 | Comments (4)
Tags: In The News

Comments 

Si Valley Dan

How's that for wonderful news!
I just wish we could respond because it was the right thing to do rather than because it affected our wallets and purses. I work in a very High Tech part of the US and I can't believe how many Solar and alternative energy start-ups are occurring around the Bay Area. You want America to Cowboy up? Reach for their wallets, not their heart strings.

dwm

I would rather see us export technologies to get away from oil completely

ziggy

I can't believe we export gas. Why not just import less oil to balance it out? Somtimes it really looks like the oil companies want to keep the price per barrel high.

Tom L

ziggy:

It doesn't work that way. The US has the most refining capacity in the world. We DO NOT have the most oil though. So even though we can refine lots of oil into gasoline, we can't make oil just appear.

So if we were to just import only the oil we needed, we'd be shuttering refineries. Why do that when we can import the oil for $130 a barrel, and sell an equivalent amount of gasoline to somewhere else for $150? Thats a profit.

And just not importing the oil wouldn't reduce American demand: again, production of gasoline would outstrip demand HERE, but not in India and China, like the article says. Which means that if we do not refine it, someone else will.

Even if we stop purchasing those barrels, it will just drop the price lower until someone else picks up the slack. And then they will refine those barrels and Americans would be out of the profit.

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