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Has gasoline consumption peaked?

February 03, 2010


We know that gasoline consumption has gone down lately due to recessionary pressures, but now some experts believe it will never return to the heady days of 2007. We may look back at that time as the year gasoline consumption peaked in the U.S.

An article from McClatchy news service suggests three reasons:

• New vehicles are more fuel efficient;
• The number of cars on the road has reached a plateau; and
• Alternative fuels are actually having an impact.

Needless to say, this is having an effect on the oil industry. Profits are shifting as refineries are running currently at less than 80% of capacity and most are losing money. This is in contrast to some of the discussions we were having back in 2006 when we were concerned about running out of energy capacity.

Of course there is still much room for growth in other parts of the world. Oil that we don’t use here and more will certainly be soaked up in Asia for some time to come. One step at a time.