Changing patterns in the production and consumption of residual fuel oil in the United States, 1940-1972 Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pr76f5443

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  • This study examined one refinery product, residual fuel oil, and analyzed changes that have occurred in its production and consumption in the United States through time, with the objective of explaining why the quantities and qualities of residual fuel produced, imported, and used in different times and places have varied. Refined petroleum products are not produced in equal or fixed amounts, but reflect limits imposed by technology and the type of crude processed, as well as contemporary economic constraints. Thus, there is considerable variation in the refinery mix from one country or region to another and from one time to another. Demand for petroleum products also varies geographically and temporally and reflects economic, political, and technological factors as well as the availability of alternative fuels. Statistical data analysis determined the changes that have occurred and the spatial patterns that have developed in: 1) the absolute and relative importance of residual fuel output per refining district; 2) the role played by imported residual fuel; 3) the market sectors in which residual competes and its absolute and relative importance to each. Domestic production of residual fuel declined from 316, 221, 000 barrels in 1940 to 292, 517, 000 barrels in 1972 and average yield per barrel of crude processed declined from 24.4 percent to 6.8 percent. This downward trend was economically motivated and regionally most pronounced in the Texas Gulf, Louisiana Gulf, Texas Inland, and Oklahoma-Kansas -Missouri refining districts. Residual fuel demand increased from 338, 106, 000 barrels in 1940 to 925, 647, 000 barrels in 1972. The difference between domestic production and demand was made up by imports mainly from Venezuela and the Netherlands Antilles. Residual fuels are used for heating large spaces, supplying industrial heat, powering vessels and locomotives, and for generating eLectricity. For these markets, residual competes principally with coal and natural gas. The main changes residual fuel has experienced in these markets has been a marked decline in railroad use, and during the 1970's a rapid growth in the utility market. Regionally, residual fuel is consumed principally on the East Coast where in 1972, imported residual accounted for 89. 6 percent of consumption.
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