MTBE Phase Out in Gasoline's - Possible supply
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has
suggested potential impacts from the much-anticipated switch to ethanol from
MTBE by major gasoline producers before the driving season in 2006. This rapid
change-over, which is in-line with the state bans due to water contamination
concerns, could result in supply dislocations and price volatility.
MTBE - methyl tertiary-butyl ether is a fuel additive
used by many refiners in gasoline as an anti-knock compound and to raise the
oxygen content to meet a now cancelled EPA requirement. This additive has been
found to cause numerous health problems and is a suspected carcinogen. It has
been accumulating in ground water to dangerous levels rendering the water
The MTBE phase-out is also prompted by continuing
liability exposure from transporting MTBE-blended gasoline and the perceived
potential increased liability exposure due to the elimination of the oxygen
content requirement for reformulated gasoline (RFG) included in the Energy
Policy Act of 2005.
EIA said that there would be a net loss of gasoline
production capacity of about 5%-6% or 150,000 to 300,000 barrels per day outside
of California this summer. This is due to the necessary changes to accommodate
the higher evaporation properties of ethanol and to counter the toxic emissions
and distillation characteristics of ethanol-blended gasoline.
This phase-out may actually add $.03-$.06 per gallon of
gasoline during summer driving season.
The use of OctaPlus as a bulk gasoline additive offers
significant improvements to all grades of gasoline.
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