The COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting impact across the energy industry, leaving in its wake a bevy of uncertainty.
One sector of the energy industry that’s been hit hardest is the transportation fuels sector.
With millions of people still staying at home to help stem the spread of the virus and roads being less congested, despite states gradually reopening economies, consumption of transportation fuel has plummeted to multi-decade lows. Latest estimates by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicate petrol consumption will decrease 11% this year compared with 2019, while jet fuel and distillate fuel oil consumption will fall by 25% and 10%, respectively, during the same period.
These estimates pale in comparison to EIA projections issued in January, which estimated both petroleum and distillate consumption would remain almost flat throughout 2020 compared to 2019 levels.
The drop in transportation fuel consumption is being felt up the energy value chain at US refiners where utilisation rates are mirroring – and trending towards – lows not seen since the financial crisis of 2008-2009. In the US, the EIA projections for petrol...
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