US Diesel Fuel Prices Decline Despite Middle East Turmoil

Posted on July 29th, 2014 by Ed Blickstein

TODAY IN ENERGY: Thursday, July 24, 2014 EIA

U.S. petroleum refineries running at record levels U.S. refineries have been processing record volumes of oil recently. Refinery inputs hit a record-high 16.8 million barrels per day in each of the past two weeks. Refineries in the Midwest and Gulf Coast in particular pushed the total U.S. input volume upward, as these refiners’ access to lower-cost crude oil, expansions of refining capacity, and increases in both domestic demand and exports contributed to higher refinery runs.

TODAY IN ENERGY: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 EIA

Oil and natural gas sales accounted for 68% of Russia’s total export revenues in 2013 Russia is a major exporter of crude oil, petroleum products, and natural gas, and sales of these fuels accounted for 68% of Russia’s total export revenues in 2013, based on data from Russia’s Federal Customs Service. Russia received almost four times as much revenue from exports of crude oil and petroleum products as from natural gas. Crude oil exports alone were greater in value than the value of all non-oil and natural gas exports.


Libya: Libyan oil production consisting of light crude has been rising despite fighting but the latest turmoil has become more widespread and now likely to negatively impact production and export from that country. As the increased internal war has become very intense the US has closed its embassy in Tripoli. Libya has an oil production capacity of well over 1 million bpd and could increase output significantly if the government establishes control over key facilities.

Iraq: The North Sea benchmark peaked above $115 last month as an Islamist insurgency swept across western Iraq, taking control of large parts of the oil-producing country including its biggest refinery. The insurgency now holds large swathes of Iraq but is hundreds of kilometers from the country’s main oil-producing and exporting centers in the south and the fighting have had little impact on oil supplies.

Iran: Iran’s oil supplies have been restricted by sanctions for several years and agreement at talks in Vienna could lead to a softening or lifting of those limits.  Negotiators had set a July 20 deadline for a deal but diplomats say the two sides are deeply divided and assume the talks will be given another six months to seek a deal.


Global crude oil markets are fairly well supplied, traders and analysts say, and profit margins for refiners in several regions have fallen sharply, reducing demand for crude.


US ON-Highway Diesel Fuel Prices declined from $3.894 (2 weeks ago) to $3.858 and $0.57 lower from a year ago.  Central Atlanta region is at the same price as last year while the Midwest and Gulf Coast regions recorded the biggest drop from last year, same period, at $0.85 and $0.78 respectively.  Recent US crude oil production growth has consisted of lighter, sweet crude from tight resource formations.  Currently, US petroleum refineries are running at record levels.


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