Diesel Supply Shortage?

Topic 32553 | Page 1

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Dennis L's Comment
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I’ve been reading about the US diesel inventory reduction to 26 days supply in October, which is lowest level since 2008. The supply was 34 days just 5-6 weeks ago per an article in the Epoch Times.

The CEO of Chevron (my former employer) said that diesel supply will remain “tight” through the winter. Not surprising with the heating oil season in northeast states.

Another contributor to the article stated that diesel demand has increased due to high gasoline prices causing people to drive less to shop, thus ordering more home deliveries. Also that US refineries continue to close.

I did some research using data from the EIA = Energy Information Administration (US Gov.).

Report at 01/01/2020

Operable Refineries = 135

Capacity Million Barrels per Calendar Day = 18.976 (accounts for downtime)

Capacity Million Barrels per Stream Day = 20.092 (total capacity)

Report at 01/01/2022

Operable Refineries = 130 (down 5)

Capacity Million Barrels per Calendar Day = 17.944 MMB/CD

Capacity Million Barrels per Stream Day = 18.949 MMB/SD (down 1.133)

Sixty-two (62) refineries are located in 3 states: Texas has 32, Louisiana has 15 and California has 15. The remaining 68 refineries are scattered across the country.

One 42-gallon barrel of crude oil yields about 19-20 gallons of gasoline and 11-12 gallons of ultra-low sulfur distillate fuel oil (sold mostly as diesel fuel and in some states as heating oil).

13.144 MM gallons per day of domestic diesel production capacity lost since 2020 (1.133 MMB/SD lost x 11.5 gallons/barrel.

US gulf coast refineries have historically exported refined products to Mexico and other countries rather than transport to US east coast because of cheaper imports available from Canada and Europe. The European supply has been reduced. This will put more pressure on diesel prices and availability.

The ban on Russian imports in Mar 2022 has had some impact. In 2021 the Imports from Russia accounted for 3% of crude oil imports and 20% of petroleum products imports (gasoline and high sulfur unfinished fuel oils).

EIA data for 2021:

US refined 68.35 billion gallons of ULSD and consumed 59.82 billion gallons. The US imported 4.31 billion gallons of ULSD (45% from Canada) and exported 14.04 billion gallons.

Diesel shortages will drive up prices again. The historical price difference with gasoline was $0.50, but now is $1.70.

Will diesel fuel supply shortages be regional , ie northeast states due to heating oil season and west coast? The EIA says that the west coast is somewhat isolated because of special diesel specs to reduce air pollution. More costly to refine.

It was also reported that the shift to renewable bio-diesel by some refiners is also impacting supply. I know that Chevron was investing in bio-diesel.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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Thanks for going into the weeds on this. I just got into fuel hauling in the last few weeks. Training has been good but we still haven't moved one drop of diesel through the hoses.

The Volvo truck plant in Dublin VA is one of our customers. They can't get authorized tabs through anyone for diesel to put in their brand new trucks. Trainer says we will be trying a whole list of supply numbers at our filling racks today.

Winter should be interesting this year.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Timothy L.'s Comment
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Thanks for the analysis, this winter sounds extra cold

Dave T.'s Comment
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The Volvo truck plant in Dublin VA is one of our customers. They can't get authorized tabs through anyone for diesel to put in their brand new trucks. Trainer says we will be trying a whole list of supply numbers at our filling racks today.

Winter should be interesting this year.

We are based in Roanoke and our drivers are having to run to Greensboro, NC to get diesel now. Other companies here in town are heading to Charleston, WV and up to Richmond for it. I haul ethanol so I really don’t have to deal with that but next week I’ll be on home delivery with the heating oil side. We have a lot of customers moving away from the heating oil now because of the cost and I don’t blame them.

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Based upon Brett’s posting about the freight transport slowdown the demand for diesel will likely decline in last two months of 2022 and into 2023. So a supply shortage may become a mute point.

From Brett’s post:

This is an article written by Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves:

The Freight Industry Is Looking At A "Very, Very Ugly" End Of 2022

Here are a couple of quotes from the article:

double-quotes-start.png

Retailers have nearly all the products they need in their distribution networks for the holidays (and then some), which means that there won’t be a lot of freight demand as we head into the last two months of the year.

double-quotes-end.png
double-quotes-start.png

As firms get more nervous about the broader economy heading into 2023, there is little incentive to replenish bloated inventories. This is bad news for most freight companies as they will find far fewer load opportunities.

double-quotes-end.png

It's not an exciting read. It just gives a few data points about shipping container volumes and spot market prices for freight throughout 2022 that all show a big decline in the pipeline for the last two months of the year.

I think 2023 will be a catastrophe for our economy and markets. Buckle up!

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

The Volvo truck plant in Dublin VA is one of our customers. They can't get authorized tabs through anyone for diesel to put in their brand new trucks. Trainer says we will be trying a whole list of supply numbers at our filling racks today.

Winter should be interesting this year.

double-quotes-end.png

We are based in Roanoke and our drivers are having to run to Greensboro, NC to get diesel now. Other companies here in town are heading to Charleston, WV and up to Richmond for it. I haul ethanol so I really don’t have to deal with that but next week I’ll be on home delivery with the heating oil side. We have a lot of customers moving away from the heating oil now because of the cost and I don’t blame them.

I can safely assume the Trans Montaigne terminal in Greensboro is where they are getting access? I will be there Thursday but only for my second time.

We did finally get diesel today but not for Volvo. Just a few small gas stations. I'm sure I'll be on the Greensboro convoy more often soon but as posted maybe demand will decline by end of year.

Home heating oil eludes me in this company. I suppose that's lucky if demand is ebbing now.

Anyone driving through these states notice any problems getting fuel? Noticeable price increases? Another great example to start off as a company driver.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Dave T.'s Comment
member avatar

I think we’ve been getting it there and the KM terminal. Most of our guys aren’t carded anywhere but KM down there. As far as the heating oil goes, we load at our yard as the transport guys bring it in. The cost dipped a little bit this week but I’m sure it’s going to shoot back up again. It was already over $5 a gallon two weeks ago.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Suicide Jockey's Comment
member avatar

I haul fuel out of Selma NC. We been pulling a lot of diesel to top our stores off in anticipation of shortage. So far Kinder Morgan and Marathon have still had diesel available. My second load tonight has diesel on it. Fingers crossed KM will still have it...

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar
just got into fuel hauling in the last few weeks

Howdy, Spaceman! It's been awhile. You mentioned a customer in VA. Are you driving fuel cross-country? Or did you relocate East?

I hope you enjoy your new gig!

Dennis L's Comment
member avatar

Now Biden yesterday is channeling Jimmy Carter with proposing a Windfall Profits Tax on oil companies and blaming them for not increasing domestic production.

We had that back in the late 70’s as part of Carters energy plan. Also the usual leftists calling for nationalization of the petroleum industry. Reagan got rid of it all.

I think Biden forgets that on day one he stopped new federal leasing and banned fracking.

I worked 10 years in Angola in west Africa. Angola is a Marxist socialist country formerly aligned with the USSR and Cuba, but now it is in bed with China CCP.

Angola government owns all natural resources “for the people”. It has a fiscal regime that taxes away all “excess petroleum profits” from the foreign oil companies as oil prices rise. The operator oil company makes about $4-$5 per barrel produced.

The leftists would love to have that here.

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