[FRIAM] A Good Question - Should the United States join OPEC?

David Mirly mirly at comcast.net
Wed Feb 29 14:26:54 EST 2012


I'm not sure this statement is correct…"natural gas is an input into gasoline refining (cracking the hydrocarbons)"

I don't think natural gas and crude oil refining typically, if ever, intersect.  A crude oil refinery (which, of course, makes gasoline among other things) has only crude oil as it's main input.  

Now refineries differ from one another greatly in size and capabilities but I have never heard of natural gas being used in the gasoline manufacture process.





On Feb 29, 2012, at 10:55 AM, qef at aol.com wrote:

> Greetings, all --
> 
> "Gasland" is on my list, but in the meantime, I know that natural gas is an input into gasoline refining (cracking the hydrocarbons) and with natural gas at (artificially?) low prices, our overall cost for refining gasoline in the US is competitive worldwide. We're also the biggest user of gasoline (the fuel mix in other countries focuses more on diesel), which means we have competitively priced refined gasoline in general, and a bit of extra supply in particular at the moment. The annual switchover of winter to summer gasoline has been complicated by some scheduled maintenance and shut-downs at various refineries, leading to a more pronounced annual spike than usual. Oh, and there's the Straits of Hormuz thing...
> 
> My $0.02,
> 
> - Claiborne Booker -
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hugh Trenchard <htrenchard at shaw.ca>
> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group <friam at redfish.com>
> Sent: Wed, Feb 29, 2012 10:12 am
> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] A Good Question - Should the United States join OPEC?
> 
> Thanks for responding. Of course with natural gas, the first thing comes to my mind is "Gasland'.  But I suppose if some ot those environmental issues can be brought under control, natural gas seems like it will be a big economic driver for a while.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Joshua Thorp
> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
> Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 8:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] A Good Question - Should the United States join OPEC?
> 
> This sounds right to me.  There is a lot of finger wagging at Iran for not having domestic capacity for petroleum refinement even though they are a crude exporter.  So I guess capacity works both ways.  The other thing I know is currently a hot topic is natural gas production.  I believe the US has increased its production quite a bit lately and is likely to have a lot more in the future.
> 
> 
> On Feb 28, 2012, at 8:40 PM, Hugh Trenchard wrote:
> 
>> Just as a brief follow up, it seems to me one of the major factors in this is that U.S. refining capacity has increased so that there is less need to import refined petroleum products.  I haven't researched this in any detail and I stand to be corrected on all my assertions, but it seems to me it's not as though there are any new sources of US domestic supply or significant increase in technological ability to extract previously hard to obtain oil, and likely only marginal reduction in demand. There may be some, but my thought is the hype on this is rather misleading.  Again I don't have the figures, but my guess is that the vast majority of US crude imports likely still come from Canada, Mexico, and other western hemisphere nations, which the U.S. refining companies refine and re-sell as petroleum products, both for domestic use and to export abroad.
>>  
>> The link below shows some of the definitions used in the petroleum/fuels industry. From my skeptical standpoint, the hype could mislead the American public toward a false sense of security.  I suppose if it stimulates the economy, then that's good, but if it gets people guzzling more gas, then it's really just a fool's game.
>>  
>> http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/TblDefs/pet_move_imp_tbldef2.asp
>>  
>> From the link: "Petroleum products are obtained from the processing of crude oil (including lease condensate), natural gas, and other hydrocarbon compounds. Petroleum products include unfinished oils, liquefied petroleum gases, pentanes plus, aviation gasoline, motor gasoline, naphtha-type jet fuel, kerosene-type jet fuel, kerosene, distillate fuel oil, residual fuel oil, petrochemical feedstocks, special naphthas, lubricants, waxes, petroleum coke, asphalt, road oil, still gas, and miscellaneous products."
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Russ Abbott
>> To: The Friday Morning Applied Complexity Coffee Group
>> Cc: Hugh Trenchard
>> Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 7:47 PM
>> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] A Good Question - Should the United States join OPEC?
>> 
>> We exported more petroleum products, not more oil. We are still net oil importers.
>>  
>> -- Russ Abbott
>> _____________________________________________
>>   Professor, Computer Science
>>   California State University, Los Angeles
>> 
>>   Google voice: 747-999-5105
>>   Google+: https://plus.google.com/114865618166480775623/
>>   vita:  http://sites.google.com/site/russabbott/
>> _____________________________________________ 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 7:42 PM, Owen Densmore <owen at backspaces.net> wrote:
>> From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/03/us-becomes-net-exporter-o_n_857085.html
>> While some Americans cut back on driving as gas prices soar, the U.S. has become a net exporter of fuel for the first time in nearly 20 years.
>> According to data from the Energy Department,starting last November -- with the exception of the month of January -- the U.S. began exporting more petroleum products than it imported.
>> 
>> This is not the source I got the idea from, its been in the news quite a bit lately, this is just the first google hit I tried.
>> 
>> The theory is that between the recession (thus less use of fuel, both supply side and demand), conservation/efficiency, and more recent hi-tech oil/gas exploitation (horizontal drilling), the US consumption has dropped and the production has increased, causing a net surplus. 
>> 
>> It certainly is surprising.
>> 
>>    -- Owen
>> 
>> On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 6:54 PM, Hugh Trenchard <htrenchard at shaw.ca> wrote:
>> Where did you see that the US is now a net oil exporter?  The attachments below are 2008 and 2009, but I suspect the picture hasn't changed much since then (US imports 75% of its oil for consumption). I believe I saw reference to "potential exporter" in the NY Times article. 
>>  
>> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2008/07/26/GR2008072601599.html
>>  
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/gdsdigital/4056035804/
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Owen Densmore
>> To: Complexity Coffee Group
>> Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 9:14 AM
>> Subject: [FRIAM] A Good Question - Should the United States join OPEC?
>> 
>> Now for something completely different:
>> http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/opinion/sunday/friedman-a-good-question.html
>> Basically whether or not the US should join OPEC now that it is a net oil exporter.  
>> 
>> Insane as it sounds, there is some reason in the discussion.
>> 
>>    -- Owen
>> 
>> 
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