EIA: E85 fuel becoming price-competitive with gasoline in US Midwest

E85 motor fuel—gasoline blended with as much as 85% ethanol and commonly used by flexible-fuel vehicles (FFV) in the US and Europe—is becoming increasingly price-competitive with gasoline in several Midwestern states on an energy-content basis, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

“The lowest E85 pump prices have generally been in the Midwest, where most US ethanol is produced and which, consequently, has relatively low wholesale ethanol prices,” EIA said, adding that nationwide, about 2,350 retail outlets, or 2%, offer E85 motor fuel, with the overwhelming majority in the Midwest.

Because E85 is less energy dense than standard E10 gasoline and less widespread, consumers using E85 will need to fuel more often and travel father to reach a station that offers E85. “For these reasons, some consumers may not be willing to switch from E10 to E85 until the latter is discounted below its energy parity price,” EIA noted, adding, “Important questions include how many consumers would not consider switching without such a discount and the size of the discount that may be required.”

The relative price of E85 to gasoline depends on both ethanol production costs, which are primarily driven by the price of ethanol feedstock (mainly corn), and the price of crude oil. Also, the existing federal Renewable Fuel Standard program requires producers and importers of gasoline to acquire renewable fuel credits, known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN), which are generated during the production of renewable fuel.

“Since February, the rise in the market price of ethanol RINs has tended to reduce the price of E85 relative to E10 because production of E85 generates more RINs than production of the standard E10 blend. As the extra RIN value to E85 producers is passed along through the distribution chain in the form of a price discount, E85 becomes more competitive with regular gasoline.” EIA said.

Comparing fuel prices on an energy basis is difficult for customers accustomed to comparing gasoline prices on a price-per-gallon basis. “E85, which can have up to 25% less energy per gallon than regular E10 gasoline depending on seasonal variation in fuel specifications, needs to be discounted a comparable amount for consumers to achieve the same mileage per dollar,” EIA suggested.

Contact Conglin Xu at conglinx@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Angola’s Sonangol secures $2 billion loan for refinery, other projects

12/15/2014 China Development Bank (CDB) has extended a $2 billion line of credit to state-owned Sonangol EP to support expansion projects in Angola’s oil and ...

Pertamina plans $25 billion revamp of Indonesian refineries

12/15/2014 PT Pertamina (Persoro) has entered agreements with Saudi Aramco, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinope...

EPA approves Magellan’s Corpus Christi splitter project

12/12/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Pr...

Keyera to take majority interest in Alberta gas plant

12/12/2014 Keyera Corp., Calgary, will pay $65 million (Can.) to buy a 70.79% ownership interest in the Ricinus deep-cut gas plant in west-central Alberta.

PBF Energy, PBF Logistics make management changes

12/12/2014 Matthew Lucey, currently executive vice-president of PBF Energy Inc., will succeed Michael Gayda as the company’s president. Todd O’Malley, current...

Repairs under way at ORPIC’s Muscat refinery

12/11/2014 Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Co. (ORPIC) said it plans to resume operations at its 106,000-b/d Mina Al Fahal refinery near Muscat...

Qatar Shell lets EPCM contract for Pearl GTL operations

12/11/2014 Qatar Shell Ltd., a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, has let a contract to a division of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Montreal, to provide long-term engin...

Phillips 66 advances plans for splitter at Sweeny refinery

12/11/2014 Phillips 66 has filed an application with state regulators for a permit to build a condensate splitter at its 247,000-b/d Sweeny refinery in Old Oc...

Chevron Phillips Chemical concludes Sweeny ethylene expansion

12/11/2014 Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP (CPCC) has completed installation of a furnace at its Sweeny petrochemical complex in Old Ocean, Tex., that will e...

White Papers

AVEVA NET Accesses and Manages the Digital Asset

Global demand for new process plants, power plants and infrastructure is increasing steadily with the ...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Approach for the Digital Asset

To meet the requirements for leaner project execution and more efficient operations while transferring...
Sponsored by

Diversification - the technology aspects

In tough times, businesses seek to diversify into adjacent markets or to apply their skills and resour...
Sponsored by

Engineering & Design for Lean Construction

Modern marketing rhetoric claims that, in order to cut out expensive costs and reduce risks during the...
Sponsored by

Object Lessons - Why control of engineering design at the object level is essential for efficient project execution

Whatever the task, there is usually only one way to do it right and many more to do it wrong. In the c...
Sponsored by

Plant Design for Lean Construction - at your fingertips

One area which can provide improvements to the adoption of Lean principles is the application of mobil...
Sponsored by

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts


On Demand

Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST


Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected