Big Oil Could Lose $10 Billion If E15 Is The New Regular

  • Wednesday, 23 March 2016 12:39

A new report by Reuters indicates that the oil industry could lose $10 billion annually if E15 replaces E10 and becomes the new regular in gas stations across the country. 

The report, which can be found here, said : "At stake is about $10 billion oil firms would lose to ethanol producers if the higher ethanol blend became the new norm in a U.S. gasoline market worth $290 billion, based on average retail prices and gasoline demand of about 142 billion gallons."

With that in mind, it's no big surprise then that Big Oil vehemently opposes the RFS and any effort to increase the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline. 

Moreover, with crude oil prices remaining stubbornly low, the oil industry has been ramping up its attacks on the ethanol industry now more than ever.

In fact, Reuters said, the auto industry's acceptance of E15 will challenge Big Oil's blend wall as "almost a fifth of the vehicles on U.S. roads can safely handle E15 fuel" based on the news wire's analysis of vehicle sales and government data. 

While the EPA has approved the use of E15 in all cars 2001 and newer (which makes up nearly eight of 10 cars on the road), Reuters may only be refering to models that have been approved for the use of E15 by their manufacturers in the owners manual. This still doesn't mean that you can't use E15 in your 2005 model just because it's not stated in your owners manual. It's not in there because the EPA only approved the use of E15 in 2012.

But Reuters is pointing towards a paradigm shift in the auto industry. More importantly it's one that the oil industry insisted would never happen. 

"In 2015, for the first time the majority of new vehicles sold were approved for E15 by manufacturers. This year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which represents over 10 percent of the U.S. market, became the last of the "Detroit Three" to approve the higher ethanol blend for use in its 2016 models," it said.

Furthermore, it said, with more cars able to use E15, "more gas stations are likely to install new pumps and storage tanks needed to sell the fuel, removing the last major hurdle to its widespread acceptance."

 St paul 3 edited