The United States has passed a watershed in its petroleum supply-demand position. It has moved from a condition of abundant low-priced oil and gas to one in which supplies are tight to short and in which costs and prices are rising steeply. No longer are there shut-in crude oil and natural gas production reserves and unused refining capacity which can be brought into operation as needed. Instead, dependence on imports has been increasing steadily. The effects of this changed situation are being felt most strongly in the consumption of a class of petroleum products called light oils or light finished products. This category consists mainly of gasoline, kerosene, kerosene-type jet fuel and distillates. The distillate most familiar to the public is home heating oil, which is also referred to in the industry as No. 2 fuel oil. Sporadic, local shortages of distillate heating oil caused much concern this past winter. Now the question is being asked whether there will be adequate supplies of gasoline this summer and of distillates again next winter. This paper examines the current supply-demand situation and the outlook for the short term, that is, through 1974, with particular emphasis on gasoline and distillate fuel oil. This paper's assessment of the possibility of balancing supply and demand for these products over the next two years is based on the premise that voluntary energy conservation measures are desirable and will actually be effected. Account is not taken, however, of the possible restriction of demand by rationing which conceivably might be put into operation if supply were to fall below our projections. It must be recognized that the short-term situation is very dynamic with inventory levels and demand rates changing constantly, so that there is the hazard that statements may rather quickly become outdated and possibly lose some validity. Nevertheless, we believe it is useful to obtain a fix on things as of one point in time, even though the life of this paper may be of short duration.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Shell Oil Company

    50 West 50th Street
    New York, NY  United States  10020
  • Publication Date: 1973-6-1

Media Info

  • Pagination: 20 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00048178
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 13 1974 12:00AM