for Gasoline Demand
Headlines around electric cars and carbon policy suggest our oil dependency is on a slippery downward slope. Recent data from 2016 suggests the opposite: our worldwide addiction is getting stronger.
A combination of an extended period of low prices, consumers buying larger vehicles, and strong economic growth has caused demand to soar since it reached its nadir in 2012.
If fundamentals weaken and oil market sentiment shifts, a sharp price correction is likely once investors liquidate their long positions.
The sharp increase in gasoline inventories since the end of last year has raised some concerns, helping deflate the bullish sentiment that has permeated the oil market over the past few months.
Exports of refined products and a rebound in gasoline demand have been crucial elements of refiner success as of late.
Last year, consumers globally saved 870 million barrels of oil as a result of efficiency improvements since 2000. Germany and China have been more successful in maintaining fuel economy gains during low oil prices.
Growth in refining capacity, high downstream utilization, and flexibility provided by cheap feedstock thanks to the shale boom have all boosted U.S. energy security and lowered pump prices for consumers.
Although gasoline prices remain low and total auto sales are down, consumers have significantly increased their purchases of electric vehicles this year.
Tech giant Google is launching a ride-sharing service this fall that will allow commuters in San Francisco to link up with each other to essentially carpool together. If it takes off and spreads to other cities, it could go a long way in weeding out inefficiencies in our transportation system.
A study from a major research group finds that the transition to autonomous cars will bring about a sharp increase in fuel efficiency and hasten the use of alternative energy sources, both of which will slice demand for petroleum.