A need for cleaner-burning fuels has clearly emerged, and the health of the petroleum industry in the years to come will depend on its ability to respond to that mandate. Experts are predicting rocky times ahead as the industry tries to balance supply and demand within a tighter environmental framework. Demand for gasoline and distillate is expected to rise about 1% annually nationwide, and jet fuel demand is expected to grow more rapidly at 2%. On the supply side, two key developments will inhibit the industry's ability to meet this rising demand. These involve a move toward low emission product standards, and growing restrictions on additions to refining capacity. At the national level, President Bush is calling for a shift to cleaner-burning fuels. His plan would dramatically reshape the nation's use of energy in the 1990s and into the next century. To reduce smog, for example, the plan advocates that manufacturers produce 1 million cars a year that run on alternative fuels, like methanol, beginning in 1997. Some claim methanol can cut emissions by 50 to 90%. A more realistic study found that M85--a blend of 85% methanol and 15% unleaded gasoline--may have only a minor effect on reducing peak ozone concentration. No one really knows about the long-term environmental or health impact of methanol. Its byproduct, formaldehyde, according to the Environmental Protection Agency is a "suspected carcinogen." The American Petroleum Institute is sponsoring research into some of the environmental implications of methanol. ARCO has an agreement with the state of California to install M85 pumps at 25 of their service stations to learn more about the fuel. Ten pumps are already in operation. ARCO has also introduced EC-1 Regular (EC stands for emission control), a reformulated gasoline designed for pre-1975 cars and pre-1980 trucks that lack catalytic converters. Test data, shared with and supported by government agencies, demonstrate that if all current users of leaded regular gasoline in Southern California switched to EC-1, it would have the same effect as taking 20% of the heaviest polluting cars and trucks off the road.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    PennWell Publishing Company

    1421 South Sheridan, P.O. Box 1260
    Tulsa, OK  United States  74101
  • Authors:
    • Cook, L M
  • Publication Date: 1989-11-13

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 5 p.
  • Serial:
    • Oil and Gas Journal
    • Volume: 87
    • Issue Number: 46
    • Publisher: PennWell Publishing Company
    • ISSN: 0030-1388

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00489773
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1989 12:00AM