ExxonMobil joins the early switch to ethanol in Calif.

By | July 01, 2002
As reported by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) this month, ExxonMobil has announced it will switch from MTBE to ethanol in its California gasoline by early next year. ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, joins BP and Shell Oil Products in committing to be MTBE free in 2003. Phillips Petroleum already blends more than 80 percent of its gasoline in California with ethanol.

With ExxonMobil's decision, four (BP, Shell, Phillips, and ExxonMobil) of California's five major refiners will be using ethanol next year. The only remaining major refiner, ChevronTexaco, hasn't made a definitive public statement regarding their timetable for eliminating the use of MTBE in California gasoline. According to 2001 figures from the California State Board of Equalization, BP, Shell, Phillips, and ExxonMobil together account for more than 60 percent of total gasoline sales in California. The switch to ethanol will likely create a market for more than 500 million gallons of ethanol in California next year.