Where Does Our Gasoline Come From?

Crude oil, which comprises hydrocarbons (organic molecules consisting completely of hydrogen and carbon atoms), is used to make gasoline. Vertical wells drilled into underground and submarine reservoirs have traditionally been used to extract crude oil.

Where does the majority of our gasoline originate?

Petrochemical refineries in the United States make gasoline and other petroleum products from crude oil and other liquids generated in the country or imported from other nations. Almost all of the gasoline sold in the United States is manufactured in the country.

The majority of gasoline is transported from refineries to huge storage terminals near consumer areas via pipelines. Gasoline and other petroleum products are delivered in batches through common pipelines. Because these batches are not physically separated in pipes, some product mixing or commingling occurs. As a result of the mixing, gasoline and other products must be tested as they exit pipelines to ensure that they fulfill the needed criteria. If the goods do not meet municipal, state, or federal standards, they are returned to a refinery for further processing.

Is gasoline imported into the United States?

In 2021, the US exported around 8.63 million barrels per day (b/d) of petroleum and imported about 8.47 million b/d, making the US an annual total petroleum net exporter for the second year in a row, at least since 1949. In 2021, total petroleum net exports were estimated to be around 0.16 million b/d, compared to 0.63 million b/d in 2020. In addition, in 2021, the United States produced2 around 18.66 million barrels per day of petroleum and consumed3 approximately 19.78 million barrels per day. Even though total petroleum exports in the United States exceeded total petroleum imports in 2020 and 2021, the country continued to import crude oil and petroleum products from other countries to meet local demand and supply international markets.

In 2021, the United States remained a net crude oil importer, with 6.11 million barrels per day imported and 2.90 million barrels per day exported. However, some of the crude oil that the US imports is refined into petroleum products that the US exports, such as gasoline, heating oil, diesel fuel, and jet fuel. Additionally, some imported petroleum may be kept and then exported.

What is the natural source of gasoline?

Natural gas is found deep beneath the Earth’s surface in rock formations. Petroleum, often known as oil, is frequently found in the same places. Natural gas has been used for cooking by humans for hundreds of years.

Natural gas was first extracted industrially in 1825 in New York State. Large drills are used to pierce the Earth’s surface to extract natural gas from subsurface deposits. The fossil fuel is subsequently transported to the ultimate customer via pipelines. Natural gas is colorless, odorless, and lighter than air.

Is it true that we obtain our gas from Canada?

Natural gas producers in Canada offer natural gas to domestic markets and export natural gas to the United States.

Exports to the United States climbed marginally from 2014 to 2019, however overall exports to the United States have decreased by 22% in the last ten years. For our natural gas, Canada urgently requires new overseas markets.

The United States has increased its own natural gas production by more than 40% thanks to advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing; the US has been the world’s top natural gas producer since 2011. (Source: Energy Information Administration of the United States of America)

As a result of the glut, prices in North America are low, and Canadian natural gas exports are dropping, notably to the eastern United States, where shorter transit distances provide American producers a major cost advantage. Furthermore, the United States is boosting its exports, which are displacing natural gas from Western Canada, especially into Ontario and Quebec.

Is the United States self-sufficient in terms of oil?

The United States produces enough oil to meet its own need. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in 2020, America would produce 18.4 million barrels of oil per day and consume 18.12 million.

What does the United States buy from China?

Fruits and vegetables (fresh/processed), snack food, spices, and tea are the major U.S. import commodities from China, accounting for about half of all U.S. agricultural imports from China.

What percentage of gas is supplied by Russia?

In 2021, Russia will account for 45 percent of all natural gas imports into the European Union. As of 2009, Russian natural gas was distributed to Europe via 12 pipelines, three of which were direct (to Finland, Estonia, and Latvia), four via Belarus (to Lithuania and Poland), and five via Ukraine (to Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Poland). In 2011, the Nord Stream pipeline (which runs directly from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea) became operational.

Germany and Italy are the major consumers of Russian gas in the European Union, accounting for about half of the EU’s gas imports from Russia. France, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, and Slovakia are other major Russian gas importers in the European Union. Turkey and Belarus are the two major non-EU consumers of Russian natural gas.

In addition to pipeline supplies, Russia became one of the key liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters to Europe in 2017, mostly from Yamal LNG, which began operations in 2017. In 2018, LNG accounted for around 6% of Russian gas supplies to Europe.

Germany postponed the opening of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline until February 2022 in reaction to Russia’s military buildup and recognition of Ukrainian separatists. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022 provoked Western sanctions, resulting in an economic crisis in Russia. In April, a gas conflict between Russia and the European Union erupted, with Russia demanding payment in Russian rubles and cutting off natural gas exports to Poland and Bulgaria after those nations refused to change their gas contracts.

Will there be a natural gas shortage?

According to the US Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2022, there were approximately 2,926 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of technically recoverable resources (TRR) of dry natural gas in the United States as of January 1, 2020. If dry natural gas output in the United States remains constant at around 30 Tcf in 2020, the country will have enough dry natural gas to last roughly 98 years. The length of time the TRR will last is determined by the amount of dry natural gas produced and future changes in natural gas TRR.

Proven reserves and unproven resources are included in technically recoverable reserves. The projected amounts predicted to be produced with reasonable certainty under current economic and operating conditions are known as proved reserves of crude oil and natural gas. Unproved crude oil and natural gas resources are amounts that are anticipated to be theoretically recoverable without regard to economics or operating circumstances, based on current technology. According to the EIA, the United States had 464 Tcf of proved reserves and 2,460 Tcf of unproved reserves of dry natural gas as of January 1, 2020.

TRR estimates are very speculative, especially in areas where few wells have been drilled. As new geological knowledge is gathered through more drilling, long-term productivity for existing wells is clarified, and the productivity of new wells grows with technical advances and better management techniques, early estimations tend to vary and shift dramatically over time. TRR projections for each Annual Energy Outlook are based on the most recent well production statistics as well as information from other federal and state government agencies, industry, and academia.

Table 2 shows the technically recoverable dry natural gas resources in the United States as of January 1, 2022.

Reference case forecasts for annual dry natural gas output in the United States out to 2050 in the Annual Energy Outlook.

Other FAQs about Natural Gas

  • A kilowatthour of electricity is generated using how much coal, natural gas, or petroleum?
  • How much does it cost to produce electricity using various power plants?
  • How much of the carbon dioxide produced in the United States is due to power generation?
  • Is the EIA able to provide data on energy use and prices for cities, counties, or zip codes?
  • What are the differences between Ccf, Mcf, Btu, and therms? What is the best way to convert natural gas costs from dollars per Ccf or Mcf to dollars per Btu or therm?
  • In the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report, how does EIA determine the year-ago and five-year averages?
  • Does the EIA provide state-by-state estimates or projections for energy output, consumption, and prices?
  • Why am I paying more for heating oil or propane than what is listed on the EIA website?
  • Is the EIA aware of any unplanned disruptions or shutdowns of energy infrastructure in the United States?

Is it possible for the United States to export oil in 2022?

In 2021, the United States continued to export more petroleum (which includes crude oil, refined petroleum products, and other liquids) than it imported, following its historic change to becoming a net exporter of petroleum in 2020. We estimate net crude oil imports to rise in 2022, making the US a net petroleum importer, according to our February 2022 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

If a country imports more of a commodity than it exports, it is considered a net importer. In contrast, if a country sells more of a commodity than it imports, it is considered a net exporter. Because trade reflects supply and demand circumstances both domestically and internationally, several factors influence net trade results.

The United States has historically been a net importer of petroleum. COVID-19 mitigation initiatives resulted in a decrease in oil demand in the United States and abroad in 2020. As a result of lower demand, international petroleum prices fell, reducing the motivation for key petroleum-exporting countries to boost output. As a result of this trend, the United States will be able to export more petroleum in 2020 than in previous years.

In addition, the deficit between crude oil imports and exports in the United States plummeted to its lowest level since at least 1985 in 2020. In 2021, net crude oil imports climbed by 19% to an average of 3.2 million barrels per day (b/d), as crude oil consumption increased in response to increased economic activity. In 2022, we expect the United States to continue to import more crude oil than it exports, with an annual average of 3.9 million barrels per day. However, when local crude oil output rises to an all-time high of 12.6 million b/d, we project net imports to shrink to 3.4 million b/d in 2023.

Since 2010, the US has exported more refined petroleum products than it has imported, including distillate fuel oil, hydrocarbon gas liquids, and motor gasoline, to name a few. Refined petroleum product net exports increased to 3.3 million b/d in 2020 and stayed stable in 2021. Petroleum product net exports are expected to hit new highs of 3.6 million b/d in 2022 and 3.8 million b/d in 2023, according to our forecast.