November 04, 2010

Ethanol Is Reducing Gasoline Imports

Ethanol Producer Magazine had an interesting story yesterday about how ethanol production is leading to greatly reduced gasoline imports.

A newly released two-year outlook conducted for oil majors and refiners worldwide predicts that ethanol’s growing market share, combined with expanding U.S. refinery operations, will cut the need for gasoline imports by more than half of 2008 levels within the next two years. The report, issued by energy markets research and consulting firm Energy Security Analysis Inc., estimates that gasoline import requirements will dip to below 400,000 barrels per day by 2012, down from an average of more than 1 million barrels per day in 2008.

Sander Cohan, ESAI principal and the firm’s leading alternative fuels researcher, said the report, which focused on North American, South American and European markets, is a definitive example of a changing tide in the worldwide transportation fuels market. He attributes ethanol’s growing impact in the U.S. to renewable fuel standard (RFS) requirements and lagging gasoline demand. “You have a relatively large volume of ethanol coming into the gasoline market and the finished gasoline market only growing by a relatively small volume,” he said. “So what’s getting pushed out is petroleum fuel.”

Although I didn't look at imports, in April, when I posted the 2009 Gasoline Consumption the trend towards less petroleum gasoline being consumed was already apparent. Once the amount of ethanol consumed was subtracted from the amount of Finished Motor Gasoline consumed, the numbers showed that the amount of petroleum gasoline consumed has been in decline since 2004.

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