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EIA short-term outlooks predicts drawdown of banked RINs

By Erin Voegele | February 14, 2013

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the February 2013 issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook. According to the outlook, world liquid fuels consumption grew by 900,000 barrels per day in 2012, reaching 89.2 million barrels per day. The EIA said that growth is expected to pick up in 2013 and accelerate in 2014 due to a moderate recovery in global economic growth.

However, total U.S. liquid fuels consumption fell from a peak of20.8 million barrels per day in 2005 to 18.6 million barrels per day in 2012. This decline is associated with increased oil prices, which motivated fuel conservation, along with fuel efficiency improvements and fuel switching. According to the EIA’s forecast, liquid fuels consumption is expected to increase by 50,000 barrels per day, or 0.3 percent, in 2013, and by 80,000 barrels per day, or 0.4 percent in 2014.

Regarding ethanol, the EIA said it expects production to remain near the current 800,000 barrel per day production level through-mid 2013. As the administration reported last month, it expects ethanol production to recover to pre-drought levels during the second half of the year, and increase in 2014. For the second half of 2013, the EIA predicts as production level averaging 852,000 barrels per day. In 2014, production is expected to increase to an average of 916,000 barrels per day. In the outlook, the EIA also noted that despite the forecast increase in ethanol production, it is expecting a drawdown of banked renewable identification numbers (RINs), as the average ethanol share of the gasoline pool increases only modestly between 2012 and 2014.