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Diesel shortage?

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Diesel price Rockets Upward

Unread postby BabyPeanut » Mon 28 Feb 2005, 17:16:36

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Unread postby Cyrus » Mon 28 Feb 2005, 17:31:05

Ok, oil probably has already peaked...bleh...
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Unread postby BabyPeanut » Mon 28 Feb 2005, 18:37:03

http://www.etrucker.com/apps/news/article.asp?id=46467
By now most truckers are used to volatile fuel prices. Still, a near-record 10-cent swing in fuel prices is unusual – especially when no single culprit like a major war, production breakdown or storm is to blame.
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Diesel

Unread postby smiley » Wed 23 Mar 2005, 14:09:32

In the past week I've spoken to 4 colleagues and friends who swapped their car for a diesel.

To understand why, I have to explain our tax system a bit. Diesel is a lot cheaper than regular. However the road tax for a diesel car are twice that of a regular car. Buying a diesel car thus only makes sense if you drive more than a certain number of miles a month. I'm not sure of the USA, but a lot of European countries have a similar system.

The idea of this tax system is that they don't want the high fuel taxes to hurt business. Company cars, trucks, buses etc. which make a lot of miles thus enjoy relative cheap fuel prices, while the occasional private consumer pays more.

However with the current rise in fuel prices diesel becomes more attractive to a larger number of people. You don't need to drive so many miles anymore to justify buying a diesel.

Latest EU figures shows that the sales of diesel cars are skyrocketing. With more diesel cars on the road, demand for diesel is going to increase. Therefore I expect the diesel prices to rise faster than the petrol prices.

A lot of people here on this forum have said to be contemplating to acquire a diesel. If you can just swap cars then fine, if you have to invest (pay) for diesel, then beware. You're not the only one to notice that diesel is cheaper. And when the masses have discovered it, the economic advantage of having a diesel will quickly disappear and so does your investment.
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Unread postby lorenzo » Wed 23 Mar 2005, 14:22:42

The EU's biofuels directive has neatly calculated this and has created the incentives to replace increasing diesel demand in the EU with biodiesel.

By the way, diesel consumption in the EU is now levelling out at 2% per year, while the big boost was between 1994-2002 when consumption increased at a tremendous 4.5%.

The fastest growing diesel market is nowadays in Asia.

The main advantage of diesel however is the fact that, on average, your engine gets 35 to 40% more to the gallon compared to gasoline.
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Unread postby smiley » Wed 23 Mar 2005, 15:07:30

The EU's biofuels directive has neatly calculated this and has created the incentives to replace increasing diesel demand in the EU with biodiesel.


Yes, but what oil and petrol price did they use in their calculations. If they use the $35 that most institutions use I can assure you that their estimates will be way off.
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Strong demand for diesel fuel in Europe's road transport

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 14 Jun 2005, 23:41:19

I thought some of you might be interested in this:

http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:yJ ... 2005&hl=en
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Unread postby lorenzo » Wed 15 Jun 2005, 10:59:48

Very interesting, Graeme. I have been wondering whether this trend towards diesel won't cause problems. As I understand it, a barrel of oil can be broken up into several fractions, but they're more or less fixed. So a certain amount of energy may be wasted by trying to get more diesel out of a barrel.

Or maybe it will just make gasoline cheaper?
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Unread postby Caoimhan » Wed 15 Jun 2005, 13:09:36

lorenzo wrote:Very interesting, Graeme. I have been wondering whether this trend towards diesel won't cause problems. As I understand it, a barrel of oil can be broken up into several fractions, but they're more or less fixed. So a certain amount of energy may be wasted by trying to get more diesel out of a barrel.

Or maybe it will just make gasoline cheaper?



This is only partially true. Here is a section of an article from this site:
http://www.dit.ie/DIT/science/chemistry ... oleum.html

Crude oil is rarely used in its raw form but must instead be processed into its various products. Aside from contaminant minerals such as sulfur and small amounts of trace metals--which are removed during refining--petroleum is composed of hydrocarbons, essentially varying combinations of carbon and hydrogen atoms; any hydrocarbon can be converted into any other given the appropriate application of energy, chemistry, and technology. The smaller the molecule and the lower the ratio of carbon to hydrogen, the lighter the hydrocarbon, the lower the evaporation temperature, and, usually, the more valuable the product.

Every crude oil contains a mix of these different hydrocarbons, and the two tasks of a refinery are to separate them out into usable products and to convert the less desirable hydrocarbons into more valuable ones.

The tall metal towers that characterize petroleum refineries are distillation, or fractionating, towers. Distillation is the primary method used to refine petroleum. When the heated crude oil is fed into the lower part of a tower, the lighter oil portions, or fractions, vaporize. Losing temperature as they rise, they condense into liquids, which flow downward into the higher temperatures and are revaporized. This process continues until the various fractions have achieved the appropriate degrees of purity. The lighter fractions, like butane, gasoline, and kerosene, are tapped off from the top; heavier fractions, like fuel and diesel oils, are taken from below.

At more complex refineries the less valuable products of distillation are refined once again through various conversion processes, broadly referred to as "cracking." Through the application of vacuum, heat, and catalysts, larger, heavier molecules are broken down into lighter ones. Thermal cracking, for instance, uses heat and pressure, while catalytic cracking employs a finely powdered catalyst, and hydrocracking involves the addition of hydrogen to produce compounds with lower carbon to hydrogen ratios, such as gasoline. Other processes produce high-octane products for blending with fuels, remove undesirable constituents, or make special petroleum compounds, including lubricants.

Petroleum products are usually distributed from the refinery in the form in which they are to be used. Depending on the geographical location, customer demand, and seasonal needs, refiners can substantially alter their production. In winter, for example, less gasoline and more heating oil is produced.

The chief refinery products are liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); gasoline and jet fuel; petroleum solvents; kerosene; the so-called middle distillates, including heating oil and diesel fuel (known as gasoil outside the United States); residual fuel oil; and asphalts (bitumens), the heaviest fractions. In the United States, with its high demand for gasoline, refineries typically upgrade their products much more than in other areas of the world, where the heavy end products, like residual fuel oil, are used in industry and power generation.


It's important to note that #2 Diesel is the middle-distillate, but #1 "Winter" Diesel is kerosine, a light-distillate. Also, please note that currently, additional cracking of middle-distillates is done to increase the concentrations of light hydrocarbons. A greater reliance on middle-distillate grade fuels could mean less cracking, and more efficient refining.
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Unread postby Caoimhan » Wed 15 Jun 2005, 13:10:42

lorenzo wrote:Very interesting, Graeme. I have been wondering whether this trend towards diesel won't cause problems. As I understand it, a barrel of oil can be broken up into several fractions, but they're more or less fixed. So a certain amount of energy may be wasted by trying to get more diesel out of a barrel.

Or maybe it will just make gasoline cheaper?



This is only partially true. Here is a section of an article from this site:
http://www.dit.ie/DIT/science/chemistry ... oleum.html

Crude oil is rarely used in its raw form but must instead be processed into its various products. Aside from contaminant minerals such as sulfur and small amounts of trace metals--which are removed during refining--petroleum is composed of hydrocarbons, essentially varying combinations of carbon and hydrogen atoms; any hydrocarbon can be converted into any other given the appropriate application of energy, chemistry, and technology. The smaller the molecule and the lower the ratio of carbon to hydrogen, the lighter the hydrocarbon, the lower the evaporation temperature, and, usually, the more valuable the product.

Every crude oil contains a mix of these different hydrocarbons, and the two tasks of a refinery are to separate them out into usable products and to convert the less desirable hydrocarbons into more valuable ones.

The tall metal towers that characterize petroleum refineries are distillation, or fractionating, towers. Distillation is the primary method used to refine petroleum. When the heated crude oil is fed into the lower part of a tower, the lighter oil portions, or fractions, vaporize. Losing temperature as they rise, they condense into liquids, which flow downward into the higher temperatures and are revaporized. This process continues until the various fractions have achieved the appropriate degrees of purity. The lighter fractions, like butane, gasoline, and kerosene, are tapped off from the top; heavier fractions, like fuel and diesel oils, are taken from below.

At more complex refineries the less valuable products of distillation are refined once again through various conversion processes, broadly referred to as "cracking." Through the application of vacuum, heat, and catalysts, larger, heavier molecules are broken down into lighter ones. Thermal cracking, for instance, uses heat and pressure, while catalytic cracking employs a finely powdered catalyst, and hydrocracking involves the addition of hydrogen to produce compounds with lower carbon to hydrogen ratios, such as gasoline. Other processes produce high-octane products for blending with fuels, remove undesirable constituents, or make special petroleum compounds, including lubricants.

Petroleum products are usually distributed from the refinery in the form in which they are to be used. Depending on the geographical location, customer demand, and seasonal needs, refiners can substantially alter their production. In winter, for example, less gasoline and more heating oil is produced.

The chief refinery products are liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); gasoline and jet fuel; petroleum solvents; kerosene; the so-called middle distillates, including heating oil and diesel fuel (known as gasoil outside the United States); residual fuel oil; and asphalts (bitumens), the heaviest fractions. In the United States, with its high demand for gasoline, refineries typically upgrade their products much more than in other areas of the world, where the heavy end products, like residual fuel oil, are used in industry and power generation.


It's important to note that #2 Diesel is the middle-distillate, but #1 "Winter" Diesel is kerosine, a light-distillate. Also, please note that currently, additional cracking of middle-distillates is done to increase the concentrations of light hydrocarbons. A greater reliance on middle-distillate grade fuels could mean less cracking, and more efficient refining.
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Why does diesel cost so much?

Unread postby NonToxic » Tue 09 Aug 2005, 08:41:33

Does anyone know why the price of diesel is more than super in some places?
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Re: Why does diesel cost so much?

Unread postby NeoPeasant » Tue 09 Aug 2005, 09:29:10

NonToxic wrote:Does anyone know why the price of diesel is more than super in some places?


Because of goobers in giant noisy stinky 4 wheel drive diesel pickup trucks hauling nothing but their own fat asses around?
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Unread postby deconstructionist » Tue 09 Aug 2005, 09:43:56

diesel is less refined and therefore should cost less to produce. i think it's a supply and demand issue. demand is inching up towards the available supply. of course this is happening with gasoline too--maybe just quicker with diesel. consider paying 10% more for diesel and getting 30-40% better fuel economy... i'll take it.
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Unread postby Ancien_Opus » Tue 09 Aug 2005, 10:43:44

In the last few years the boom in China's economy has resulted in electrical power outages during peak summer months. Factories in China rely heavily upon diesel backup power generation to off-set the power outages.
This is a major reason that diesel prices have risen dramatically despite its lower refining cost.
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Unread postby gnm » Tue 09 Aug 2005, 10:45:59

Diesel is artifically inflated to insure that consumers don't switch from gasoline vehicles.. Industry (such as trucking) buys it at the lower rate (google blue diesel) - Show the right license and you can buy dyed diesel considerablly cheaper than gasoline.

In a way its really just a taxpayer subsidy of the trucking industry. If people found diesel cheaper to use and went to it en masse then of course the price would rise. But by keeping the cost of consumer diesel artifically high (more than gasoline most places) it keeps pressure off trucking and industrial/military costs.

and yes, you should be pissed....

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Unread postby aahala » Tue 09 Aug 2005, 12:27:14

The federal manufacturers excise tax -- what we usually call just the
gas or fuel tax -- is 18.4 cents for gasoline and 24.4 for diesel per gallon.

The state excise taxes vary but overall, gas and diesel are taxed nearly the same. So nationwide, it's plus 6 from taxes on average.

There's much more tax exemption/credits etc for diesel because of
its use.
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Unread postby EddieB » Tue 09 Aug 2005, 13:54:59

This is only a tangentially related question, but here goes. I've heard that heating oil is essentially diesel fuel. Could I pump (untaxed) heating oil out of my house tank into my car without wreaking my car's engine? I know it would be illegal to do so, this is purely hypothetical mind you...
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Unread postby whiteknight » Tue 09 Aug 2005, 15:12:21

gnm wrote:Diesel is artifically inflated to insure that consumers don't switch from gasoline vehicles.. Industry (such as trucking) buys it at the lower rate (google blue diesel) - Show the right license and you can buy dyed diesel considerablly cheaper than gasoline.

In a way its really just a taxpayer subsidy of the trucking industry. If people found diesel cheaper to use and went to it en masse then of course the price would rise. But by keeping the cost of consumer diesel artifically high (more than gasoline most places) it keeps pressure off trucking and industrial/military costs.

and yes, you should be pissed....


Dont forget agriculture. They get it at lower taxes rates as well. Not sure if that means get madder or what...
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Unread postby pea-jay » Wed 10 Aug 2005, 01:48:32

Diesel prices are tugged by a number of factors. Here in California diesel has rocketed past premium in price (over $3) thanks to the state's largest diesel refinery going offline. Nationally the prices have trended up as heating oil futures have increased. Plus there is the fact that basic refinery 101 dictates that less diesel will be produced from each barrel of oil as opposed to gasoline. Finally, Europe's obsession with the fuel means there is more global competition for that fuel. Since we already import refined products in addition to oil when we are short on diesel and need to go out to a foreign producer we are in competition against the Europeans. It also serves as a floor for prices as well. If diesel supply became too overstocked and prices too low, some of that supply would inevitably get exported to Europe.
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Europe to run out of diesel...

Unread postby freetoken » Fri 12 Aug 2005, 07:16:26

According to Wood MacKenzie, Europe faces a serious diesel shortage by 2015:

link

Apparently they take no notice of an oil shortage, just a diesel shortage.

-ft
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