By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Cities
For the first time in almost two decades, the United States has become a net exporter of fuel.
For the first time in almost two decades, the United States has become a net exporter of fuel, according to new data.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, America -- the world's largest consumer of oil -- exported 54,000 barrels more of petroleum products each day in February than it purchased on the global market.
The milestone marks the latest in a five-year decline in net imports, reports the Financial Times.
Gregory Meyer reports:
The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, reported US refined product exports rose 24.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 from a year ago, to 2.49m barrels per day. Imports declined 14.4 per cent to 2.16m b/d. The export increase is led by diesel and finished petrol, data from the Energy Information Administration show.
So why the decrease? After all, for many years the U.S. was a net importer of both crude oil and refined fuels.
According to the report, it's a combination of domestic industrial growth and reduced consumer demand in the post-recession period. (To be clear, overall U.S. demand continues to rise; it's just rising more slowly than domestic capacity to produce such products.)
Top buyers for America's petroleum products are Mexico, Ecuador and other Latin American nations whose demand easily exceeds production capacity. Brazilian demand is also keeping Gulf of Mexico refineries busy.
But there are more complicated market and regulatory forces at work.
Petrol in Gulf states such as Texas is cheaper than in east-coast cities such as New York and Boston. But it is often more profitable for traders to export it, said Philip Verleger, an independent oil economist. A pipeline connecting the Gulf to New York is fully booked, while federal law requires traders to hire expensive US-flagged vessels to ferry oil in domestic waters.
All this as prices at the pump surge and the federal government threatens to end oil subsidies. The real question: can the U.S. actually reduce absolute demand?
May 3, 2011
IMO the US is not a net exporter of Fuel. Multi-National corporations that think of the oil under the ground as "Theirs" and not "Ours", that do not pay taxes or even invest any of their gigantic earnings in this country, that still "*seems* to be the United States"... Export fuel. The only money we might glean from these corporations is from the crumbs that fall from their tables in the form of Club Membership dues or the installation of a New Hot Tub at one of their many mansions... false good news, false economy, misinformation. blameblakeart.wordpress.com www.thestructureofthought.com
Much has been said about Petrol and the price of it, do you have Liquid Petroleum Gas in America, if so at what price?. Here in Australia we have a good supply of LPG and at a tax free price, thats what I use and I find no difference in usage but for a five litres more per 100 Kilometres and a lot less cost than petrol.
Why lead with such a misleading headline? Slow news day? In the thrall of the oil industry? The USA consumes 18.7 million barrels of oil a day (2009). It imports 11.7 million barrels per day (2009). Clearly this article is talking only about refined products, though the content does its best to suggest it includes crude. I end up questioning the independence of smartplanet. What do you or your backers gain from getting people to think that there is less of an oil security issue than there really is?
FET's on petro products should rise, ONLY IF the excess tax revenue were specifically earmarked for alternative energy products, development and deployment. This is a gov't policy issue, and if presented (and implemented) as such, would eventually reduce fossil fuel consumption. Europe has been doing this for years. You do not hear EEU citizens griping about $8.00 per gallon gas because they more than make it up by solar and wind. That's why GE exports all it's wind tech to the EEU because those gov'ts are COMMITTED to it. That's what's missing here. Lack of gov't policy, courage and that commitment to alternatives is what ails us. I say courage because the API's lobbyists bully our pols with $$ to keep the status quo the status quo.
Why do I keep hearing that we "must wean ourselves off mideast oil" when we're exporting more than we're importing? Does anyone else have a problem when the pols say that "our dependence on foreign oil" threatens our security? I guess I just don't get it.
The cheapest I ever saw a gallon of gasoline was $.17, during a gas war in maybe 1959. But for a good part of my childhood/adolescence, you could buy a gallon of gas for a quarter or less. So now today, take one of those pre-1964 quarters (the ones with the intrinsic value), and convert it into dollars, and you can still buy a gallon of gas for less than a quarter. So it's not the fact that the gas has become more expensive that is a problem. The problem is that our 'leaders' have sucked the value out of our money with inflation, so now it takes 16x as much 'money' to buy stuff like gas that trades in the international market.
How about: Industrial growth is DOWN, since intellectual properties being exported, are UP? The price that we export fuel at, is lower than the price we import at? Increased natural gas production is taking the place of wet petroleum, at the cost of our clean water supply? Our countries' policies and regulations makes it easy to 'export' ANYTHING... at a underwritten 'loss'? In other words, if broken down as 'trade' versus explicitly separate products... those barrels are likely driving our domestic fuel costs UP, as our credibility as shrewd traders, goes DOWN... what's new there? Our counties' economics are ruled by amoral people, who lack any sort of nationalism or human concern. We send tens of thousands of troops to defeat fascist nations globally, while at home the most relaxed forms of business continue to usurp and unbalance the 'class' structures that stabilize and provide mobility... we all know this, some are against such attitudes, most see it as what makes America great, the ability to get RICH. If it were legal to sell our people into indentured servitude... many Americans would be doing it! I believe in Capitalism, for its ability to spread the risk and thus drive innovation... but, it is also a tool for making MIGHT... RIGHT. It's simple... if this article paired the increased export of oil with something tangible for the middle class such as falling fuel rates, I'd be impressed with my level of ignorance, and just take it for granted that something good is happening. BUT since fuel rates are UP, and export of our fuels, are UP... someone!!, is selling our country, or rather 'our people', SHORT. How can fuel be being sold to others, when we need it here to drive prices down?? ...Yeah, there you go.
The US is a net importer of fuel. We exported more refined petroleum products for a short period of time, but our imports are much greater than our exports. This article is disappointing.
When I read this story carefully it seems to say that the US exported more refined oil products than the US imported refined oil products. If that is the case, the article is misleading.
"There's no question that global demand for oil is up because people in places like China & India are using more of it. " This is absolutely true. As the U.S. economy has been sluggish and our gasoline costs increase, we drive less, so we use less. India and China need more. Because it's more profitable to sell Texas crude overseas than it is to send it to Yankee-land, we sell it overseas. Voila! We've become an oil exporter. "If you don't have an oil well... get one!" Maybe Texas can join OPEC...
Commodity prices (including oil, food crops, metals, gold...) are driven by collective emotion of users and speculators. The price of housing and stocks behave the same way. There's little any president, oil company or federal reserve action can do to alter the trends that are driven by emotions.
I've often wondered how oil companies reconcile claiming that they are charging what they have to charge and the fact that they are making record prices. It appears that what they have to charge is related to what the market will bear. We are in another phase where they are testing to see if they can stay at $4.00 a gallon without sabotaging the recovery. Rather than keeping the gasoline in the US and force the price lower, they are selling it to the highest overseas bidder.
I think this puts to rest the idea that gas prices are high because "environmentalists" and government regulation have not allowed any new refineries to be built. The price of oil is set on the world market and the US has little ability to affect that price regardless of what we do.
(To be clear, overall U.S. demand continues to rise; it???s just rising more slowly than domestic capacity to produce such products.) One often repeated statement by the Obama administration defending high oil prices is to say that while US demand is down over the last 3 years the price of oil is up because of growing demand over seas. They keep saying global demand drives the price of oil. Not declining US demand.
We are exporting refined products. The US still imports about 60% of its crude oil stock. Some of that imported oil gets refined and exported.
The same is said of gold. In the late 1800's, a $20 gold piece could buy a good suit. At that time, this included a vest, and for the same price, included another pair of pants. That same $20 gold piece, today STILL can buy the good suit and extra pants (not sure of the vest, though), with the value of gold in the coin worth much more than $20, now, plus the collector value of the gold coin.
Net exporter of refined fuel - not crude. I'm sure we are still a net importer of crude. It's not really misleading. It's just that most people (like yourself) would assume crude because that's what people usually talk about. We could export crude overseas, but we'd still be a net importer. Refined products like fuel are more profitable I suspect.
What else should they charge? When is the last time you went to your employer, and said "You know, I really could be charging you 5% less than you're currently paying me, so I'll settle for that"? I really don't understand what all the furor is all about. 3 years ago, the President-to-be and many of his compatriots on the progressive left openly argued that America needed higher energy prices to break our "addiction to oil". And now we have it. Success! This is the change so many of you voted for, so embrace it.
No, it doesn't. Basic economics proves that if the market were flooded with oil (and not restricted as it is today) prices would be much cheaper. Remember, it's not just the US that controls the flow of oil in the world, it's also the collusion of OPEC keep oil levels low. So that's half of it, which you kind of agree with, but I still think the US could produce at a level high enough to affect global oil prices. In addition, have you seen the tax rate on gas? It's horrible, it's a rate the Payday loan people strive to reach.
The Obama administration is not defending increased oil prices (which are rising, but "surge" is purely subjective rhetoric) but attempting to deflect blame for a market function over which neither he nor any other president has ever had any control. The last price peak was not G.W. Bush's fault, either. This article reflects yet another facet of the complex global economics of a critical resource. I blame the dinosaurs for not dying closer to the surface so all the oil would be easier and cheaper to get, and for not spreading themselves out more conveniently so oil would be more evenly distributed.
And if you think $4.00 is as high as it can get, just wait until they end the subsidies the oil companies receive. Anyone with any economics education can tell you that subsidies just encourage additional production of a good at the price people are willing to pay, decrease or eliminate the subsidy and you get less quantity (of oil, in this case) supplied to the market, and a higher price charged. The existence of the subsidies helps ensure that we have plentiful fuel at a reasonable price. Ending them would just mean there would be less fuel and at a higher price.
If the US started a maximum drilling effort we could maybe produce enough to affect the price of oil in 5 years or so then 5 years after that we would pretty much run out of oil. OPEC can manipulate the supply of oil to set whatever price they want regardless of the rest of the world. The world has essentially reached peak oil and increasing demand from primarily Southeast Asia will keep the price of oil increasing. The tax on petroleum based fuels should be doubled to accelerate the rate of conversions to alternate fuels. Petroleum is too valuable to be used as vehicle fuels.
Well, blame the dinosaurs, but only partially...recent evidence indicates that oil is just as much of a byproduct of the earth's natural processes as it is from the dinosaurs. Look up abiotic for more details!
President Obama and Bush have a lot to do with the price of gas. Even Clinton deserves some blame pie. Prior to Clintons last term commodity speculators were not allowed to buy gas futures. The only people who could were regional distributors and major fuel dependent industries like airlines. All of those people had an incentive to keep prices down. Spikes in oil prices often took weeks to hit the pumps as the more expensive oil worked its way through the refining and distribution systems. In Clintons last term he opened gas futures to commodity traders from a few select hedge funds. Bush expanded the program to a few more and Obama opened the floodgates on trading gas futures. Basically the way the rules are now any person with connections and money can get permission to trade in gas futures. These vultures pushed themselves into the market between the refineries and the distributors and compete with the industries. These mobsters have pushed up the price of oil. Reacting to the profit taking at the refineries the oil companies push up their prices to get a piece of the pie. That in turn passes on to the refiners who jack prices to the vultures to maintain their profit margins. Everyone keeps nudging up the prices to see what the consumer break point is. It should be noted that candidate Obama railed against this very system in late 2007 and early 2008 yet he only made it worse by loosening the rules after taking office.
There's no question that global demand for oil is up because people in places like China & India are using more of it. Those 2 countries alone have 5 times the population of the USA & more of their people are joining the middle class & driving cars. In that sense, it's simple, not complex, global economics - supply & demand.
...but better for the economy in the long term. Subsidies distort the marketplace, and encourage the establishment of monopolies as well. Without subsidies, every form of energy would have to compete on a more even footing. Besides, what I am saving on cheap gas supported by subsidies I am paying for elsewhere in the economy; mainly in taxes or other secondary effects of our screwed-up tax policy. I'd rather just pay more for the gas.
Agreed, but you seem to suggest this is bad. Less fuel at a higher price would encourage people and business to change their behaviour to use less of it, which is the result that this planet, and our future generations, need. Don't be part of the generation that wasted the world.
What do you mean "when it's not the consumer that can make a difference"? Are YOU crazy? Look at a typical American highway and observe that most vehicles are much bigger than necessary and mostly gas (petrol) powered. If you compare this to countries that have much more tax on road fuel and therefore much higher fuel prices, you find that people typically choose different vehicles which are much more efficient. In the UK we currently pay ??1.40 per liter for petrol, at 4 liters to a US gallon, and $1.60 to ??1, that's approximately $8.96 per gallon! For example, my car is a nice fast comfortable BMW 320 diesel that gets 56 mpg. This figure is typical of new cars here in Europe. I imagine the US average MPG figure is much worse, simply because of the vehicles you choose to buy. What car do you drive, and what MPG does it get?
Increasing demand from developing economies is going to cause the price of fuel to continue to increase anyway. It would be better for us if we can get out ahead of the curve rather than just reacting to the economy shocking events after the fact.
Are you saying that taxes have invented new forms of energy?! Are you crazy?! The only way involving taxes in this equation would be to give tax breaks to the companies that are creating these alternate forms of energy, then to the vehicle manufaturers that are going to produce the vehicles that run on said form of energy, and finally giving some type of tax break or incentive for consumers to buy the vehicle would help as well. But taxing consumers more, for a product that is basically a neccesity for most people, when it's not the consumer that can make a difference, is blatantly stupid. Thanks riverat1 for being yet another sheeple.
That is a fact! Oil IS a re-newable source as it is constantly being produced by this glorious earth. It wasn't just dinosauers, (not really enough of them at any one time), but vegetation from which oil is produced.