In my last post, I alluded to the possibility that fuel refined from the Keystone XL pipeline will never reach U.S drivers' tanks. Furthermore, I suggested that if we really wanted to reduce the price of gasoline here at home, we would stop selling gasoline overseas and instead increase the supply here. As we know, if we increase the supply, the price will go down. At least short supply has been used as an excuse for the high price, so it only stands to reason that if we increase the supply, the price will go down.
But do we really export that much. After all, we are a net importer of crude oil. In fact, we continually hear that we need to increase our domestic supply in order to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. So, we must really need ALL that foreign oil we import.
Well, this article has just come out. It is titled, "In A First, Gas And Other Fuels Are Top US Export".
Not only are we a net exported of gasoline and other fuels, it is the TOP US EXPORT. That means we export more refined fuels than anything else. Top export. Numero Uno.
The numbers in the article are a bit confusing. They keep using different units, like barrels, gallons, days, and months. Let me put everything on a common basis using 42 gallons/barrel, 12 months/year, and 365 days/year so that we can see just how much fuel we are sending out of the country and how that relates to what we bring into the country.
We import 3.2 billion barrels of oil per year. (2.7 billion in 10 months)
We export 1 billion barrels of fuel per year. (117 million gallons per day)
According to the Texas Oil & Gas Association, on average we get 0.78 barrels of fuel (gas, diesel, jet fuel) per barrel of crude oil.
Thus, our fuel exports use 1.3 billion barrels of crude oil per year. At $100 per barrel, that is $130 billion dollars flowing to other countries.
So, what happens if we stop exporting fuel. That kind of depends on what we do.
- We could reduce our crude oil import by over one-third and not affect our domestic supply of fuel at all and possible drive down the world price of crude oil.
- We could use the fuel we are exporting to increase OUR domestic supply of fuel and drive down the price of gasoline.