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Petroleum Industry News

Decline in oil demand slows in July

July oil product deliveries (a measure of demand) fell 3.0 percent from a year ago, which slowed the rate of decline by half compared with the first half of the year.

Despite the overall decline in product deliveries, gasoline deliveries rose a modest 0.8 percent, and distillate fuel oil deliveries (including diesel fuel) marked their first month in almost two years without a significant dip.

“The data are consistent with reports the economic downturn may be flattening out,” said Ron Planting, manager, information and analysis for the American Petroleum Institute. “However, U.S. oil demand is still significantly below where it was a year ago.”

California gasoline use rises, diesel declines

Data from the California Board of Equalization shows that gasoline consumption rose in the state in May, while diesel fuel continued to decline.

Figures show that gasoline consumption rose by 3.5 percent from April and was 0.6 percent higher than a year ago. Diesel consumption declined by 4.8 percent from April, and was 7.0 percent lower than a year ago.

May 2009 gasoline sold for use on California roads totaled 1.29 billion gallons of gasoline, which was 0.6% above that of May 2008, when Californians consumed a total of 1.28 billion gallons of gasoline.

A month-to-month comparison shows that gasoline consumption rose 3.5 percent in May when Californians consumed a total of 1.29 billion gallons of gasoline, compared with 1.25 billion gallons in April. Historically, May shows an increase over April, in part because of the Memorial Day holiday, which traditionally is the start of the summer when people travel more and consume more fuel.

New study says Climate Bill would outsource U.S. refining

The nation will be more dependent on imports of gasoline and other petroleum fuels while U.S. refining production would be shifted overseas if a climate change bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives becomes law, a study shows.

An analysis by global consulting firm EnSys Energy of the impact of the “American Clean Energy and Security Act,” which passed by a narrow 219-212 vote in the House in June, on the U.S. refining sector showed that investment in U.S. refining capacity could plummet because the cost of doing business could soar. Production at U.S. refineries would drop while production at refineries in countries that do not limit their own greenhouse gas emissions would rise. The impact on global refinery greenhouse gas emissions would be minor as reductions in U.S. emissions mostly would be offset by increases in emissions in other countries.

According to the EnSys study, commissioned by API, the U.S. would need to increase its imports of petroleum fuels in order to meet as much as nearly one-fifth of U.S. refined product demand in 2030 if the House climate bill becomes law, double what imports would have been. U.S. refining throughput, a measure of productivity, could plummet by as much as 25% (4.4 million barrels per day) and investment in U.S. refining could fall by as much as $90 billion, a decline of 88 percent, by 2030, the EnSys study forecast.

Pickens: U.S. showing no signs of reducing dependence on foreign oil

Speaking as a special guest at the Project New West Summit, energy expert T. Boone Pickens updated Western senators, governors, and state leaders on the level of foreign oil imported by the United States in July 2009.

Pickens said that based on the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. imported 65 percent of its oil, or 374 million barrels in July 2009, sending approximately $24 billion – or $537,381 per minute – overseas to foreign governments.

"While no one wants to see our country spending $24 billion a month on foreign oil, what's most frightening is that we are still importing 65 percent of our supply, threatening national security," Pickens said.

Pickens is proposing a national plan to use domestic natural gas as transportation fuel.

 
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The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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