Tags: petroleum | export | refiner | gas

CNBC: US Is Now Petroleum 'Refiner to the World'

By John Morgan   |   Monday, 12 Aug 2013 08:10 AM

The United State became a net exporter of petroleum products only two years ago, but it is already the world's largest exporter of them, according to CNBC.

U.S. exports of petroleum products — which include diesel, jet fuel and gasoline, but not crude oil — stands at about 2.9 million barrels per day, up from 2.6 million barrels in 2012 and only 1.3 million gallons in 2007, Bank of America Merrill Lynch estimated.

"The U.S. was the bread basket to the world. Now we're the refiner to the world," said John Kilduff, an oil analyst with Again Capital.

Editor’s Note:
Will This Video Get Obama Fired? See the Evidence.

CNBC reported the race is on to add capacity, and the Gulf Coast is where the action is.

The focus is on diesel because the margins are high and U.S. refiners have an advantage over foreign counterparts. Natural gas to fire up refineries is abundant and less expensive in the United States than elsewhere, and the expansion of U.S. oil production has added refinery volume.

"Any companies with refining assets on the Gulf Coast are expanding their export terminals," said Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer. "The profitability is not that clear, but the trend is very clear."

The addition of more pipeline capacity and rail shipments from the middle of the United States has added to the flow of U.S. crude into the Gulf Coast refineries.

The drawback to the nation's energy export growth is that it is increasing what Americans pay at the pump, CNBC reported.

"If the U.S. did not allow petroleum product exports, you would have much lower petroleum prices here at home. You would lose refining capacity but you would have lower prices domestically and you would have a higher price internationally," Francisco Blanch, head of global commodity and asset allocation research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told CNBC.

Blanch estimated U.S. petroleum product exports may lead to as much as 1.5 percent of gross domestic product additional output for the United States relative to Europe every year.

Exports of U.S. natural gas are also on the upswing, according to Reuters.

The Obama administration on Wednesday approved exports from a third U.S. natural gas facility, the second permit issued in about three months.

Some lawmakers and companies want to accelerate approval of natural gas exports, Reuters reported. But other companies that have benefited from inexpensive domestic prices have urged caution in approving more applications.

Editor’s Note: Will This Video Get Obama Fired? See the Evidence.

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