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Posts tagged “gasoline blending”

By Robert Rapier on Oct 8, 2013 with 19 responses

Why Gasoline Prices are Falling

Fall Means Falling Gasoline Prices

Fall is always a welcome change of pace for most people after a long, hot summer. Not only from the temperatures, but fall almost always brings relief at the gasoline pump. Pundits frequently notice this phenomenon during election years, and assume that vested interests are trying to manipulate prices to win elections. But there is a more straightforward explanation to what’s going on, and it isn’t limited to election years.

Regulating Smog

Everyone knows that gasoline evaporates. What you may not know is that there are numerous recipes for gasoline, and depending on the ingredients, the gasoline can evaporate at very different rates. And because gasoline vapors contribute to smog, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seasonally regulates gasoline blends to minimize emissions of gasoline vapors. CONTINUE»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 7, 2010 with 17 responses

Why Summer Gasoline Means Higher Prices

Spring is approaching, and gasoline prices are once again climbing. But you may not know that this ritual of climbing prices happens almost every year about this time. If you check the history of gasoline prices at the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) website you can see that gasoline prices almost always rise between January and May. The primary reason this happens is due to a seasonal switch in gasoline blends. There are two key (although not the only) specifications that refiners must meet for gasoline. The gasoline must have the proper octane, and it must have the proper Reid vapor pressure (RVP). While the octane specification of a particular grade is constant throughout the year, the RVP specification changes with… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 17, 2008 with no responses

Clarifying the Ethanol Blending Requirement

I have seen the question frequently arise as to whether the ethanol blending mandate is based on rigid numbers (e.g., 9 billion gallons in 2008) or whether it is actually a percentage requirement, and the number is an estimate based on projected gasoline sales. In other words, let’s say that hypothetically gasoline sales this year are only half the level of last year. Is the mandate still for 9 billion gallons, or does it drop to 4.5 billion gallons? Also, I saw someone recently make the charge that refiners are underblending ethanol, and are likely to end the year in violation of the mandate. So, I also sought some clarification around this issue. I contacted Peter Gross at the EIA,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Sep 14, 2007 with 3 responses

Refining 101: Winter Gasoline

Originally posted a year ago today (9/14/06), this one is due for a bump since RVP transition is once again upon us. This is going to make product inventory forecasts a bit tricky over the next month or two as high RVP gasoline is purged from the system. —————————- Now, for something that I think will be non-controversial, and hopefully somewhat educational. Every year in late summer, you will start hearing references in the media about the conversion to winter gasoline, such as the following (originally in the Bradenton Herald, but the link is long dead): Motorists can thank a mild hurricane season in the Atlantic for the lower gas prices, according to the American Automobile Association. Other factors include… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 16, 2007 with 2 responses

Refining 101: Summer Gasoline

Just what is summer gasoline? Twice a year, in the fall and in the spring, you hear about the seasonal gasoline transition. However, most people probably don’t understand what this actually means. AAA recently provided a Top 10 list explaining the recent rise in gasoline prices, and summer gasoline checked in at #7: 7. The summer blend switchover. This transition from winter-blend to summer-blend fuel, a concoction that causes less smog, occurs every spring. It causes a dip in gasoline supplies as refineries in the U.S. shut down temporarily to retool their production facilities. That’s only partially correct, and is probably the extent of most people’s understanding of this transition. But given that I am very keen that people should… Continue»