T Minus 14 Days & Counting Down Diesel

Back about 9 June 2022 I put up a posting pointing out how central to the operation of our entire economy, technical society, and military, was a single fuel. Middle Distillate. AKA Kerosene, Diesel, Jet Fuel (and a few other names). All made from one “cut” of petroleum


There are differences between the particular fine grades of fuels. Jet-A is a kerosene with fewer “ring” compounds in it (less things with benzene type rings of 6 carbons) as they contribute to smoke at take-off (why in film from the ’60s & ’70s jets taking off had a lot of smoke and now they don’t; we changed from straight run kerosene to one with the rings opened). It also is more tightly controlled as to boiling point and when certain waxy heavier ends might start to solidify. Don’t want solidified waxy bits clogging up your jet engine at 40,000 feet and -50 F temperatures. Essentially it is a very narrow and somewhat cleaner, processed, strip in the middle of the Kerosene band or cut.

D1 or Winter Diesel is a kind of kerosene as well. Lighter than D2 (regular Diesel) but with very little attention paid to things like straight chain vs ring structure. It still has a very low temperature requirement for wax formation so it will work in Alaska in winter… But your lamp oil does not nor does the K1 kerosene for your garage heater. So you can get a variety of very detailed specific differences inside Kerosene. But it is still a kerosene cut. And still a middle distillate.

D2 Diesel Oil is a bit heavier (longer carbon chains) than D1 or K1 or Jet-A. It, too, is a middle distillate. Lately (last couple of decades) it has had the specification narrowed in The West to removed sulphur compounds for smog reduction reasons. It is still a Middle Distillate, just run through a sulphur removing step / process.

There are some other grades with other benefits or with reduced processing. Home Heating Oil doesn’t have as much processing / filtering or as tight a specification as D2; but is almost the same thing. Red Dye is added to it so that police can tell the difference and give you a ticket for running your Diesel engine on it (and not paying road taxes). The engine largely doesn’t care (especially for older Diesels that did not have computer controls and piezo-electric injectors with intolerance for any contamination in fuel that isn’t entirely clean).

Every winter, Diesel prices rise as Home Heating Oil demand sucks on the same Middle Distillate supply. Every summer, Diesel prices drop as there is low demand for home heating oil.

I mention this as it matters to the question of just which fuel is in short supply and may be rationed in the next few weeks or maybe months.

There’s a shortage of Diesel refining capacity at the moment, and our inventory is dropping fast. What I do not know is just which capacity is short. IFF it is just, for example, Diesel de-sulferizers, then it’s just Diesel that’s problematic. At the other far end, IF we are short of refineries that can crack heavy crude to make Middle Distillate from a sour-heavy crude supply, then all of the middle distillates will be hit. This is a Big “Dig Here!”

It is the difference between trucks & tractors being rationed, and rationing Planes, Trains, Ships, and military equipment fuel as well.

The problem is this:


Two weeks of Diesel inventory and slowly dropping on the East Coast. Now it IS being replenished at some rate, just not enough to keep up with demand drawing it down. So we won’t run dry in 2 weeks, but would if new supply were not arriving. This is another “Dig Here!”: When do we run dry at present consumption and supply rates?


RUNNING ON EMPTY: America’s diesel stockpiles are rapidly dwindling, fuel rationing on the horizon

*American diesel stockpiles have been depleted while prices have surged to record highs, leading to higher prices for consumers.

*“I wouldn’t be surprised to see diesel being rationed on the East Coast this summer,” John Catsimatidis, the CEO of United Refining Co., told Bloomberg on Wednesday. “Right now inventories are low and we may see a shortage in coming months.”

*“What we’ve seen this year has been the capabilities to turn oil into diesel and gasoline and jet fuel have diminished,” Jacques Rousseau, a managing director at Clearview Energy Partners, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.

The U.S. stockpile of diesel fuel, which is vital for the transportation sector and economy at large, hit a nearly two-decade low as fuel prices hit a record high Wednesday.

That third bullet point makes it sound like a general refining capacity issue. Not just middle distillates. But that Gasoline supply is not as tight as Diesel.

Local gas stations are selling Diesel for just about $2 / gallon ABOVE gasoline. So, for example, gas at $3.40 / gallon and Diesel would be about $5.40 / gallon. This is a bit nuts, BTW, as usually Diesel runs about the same as mid-grade or premium gasoline.

IF the assertion that it is general refining capacity that’s the problem is in fact true: expect this to start hitting jet fuel inventories as well, and perhaps gasoline as the holiday driving binge hits.

Diesel, which has been characterized as the “lifeblood of the global economy,” is vital for the construction, mining and agriculture sectors. The transportation industry alone consumed 122 million gallons of diesel in 2020.

Basically, if it is big, heavy and moves; it runs on Diesel or Kerosene (Jet fuel). Farming, trucking, trains, planes, ships, barges being towed, fire trucks, mining equipment, tanks, troop carriers, jet fighters, harvesters, standby emergency generators at hospitals, etc.

Running out of Diesel & Jet fuel means the entire economy suddenly halts.

Now the “good bit” in all this is that we do still have refining going on and we are making more Diesel & Jet Fuel. Just not making it as fast as we are using it up, so inventory is dropping. This CAN be managed by reducing use to bring it into balance with supply. But that “has issues”…

Basically when you ration something, you must choose what is important and what is not. So which is more important?

1) Growing Food.
2) Moving Food to food processors.
3) Moving food from processors to stores.
4) Having folks with Diesel cars & pickups able to drive to the store to buy food.
5) Mining the minerals needed to build things (be it eCars, refinery parts, food hauling trucks..)
6) Moving parts made from those minerals to where the parts are needed.
7) Having a working military.
8) Having ships that can move manufactures goods to markets (from us or to us from China).

THE basic problem is that the folks who are using Diesel, here in America, are largely NOT passenger cars used for joy riding. Almost all our passenger cars are gasoline. Even the large number of Diesel Pickup Trucks are largely used in businesses of some kind (with some used for towing things like RVs or horse trailers… but not most.)

So pretty much it is a given that any rationing will mean SOME economic activity ends. The recreational / personal pleasure use of Diesel is nearly nil in comparison. So what economic activity ought to be ended, eh? Fire Trucks? Ambulances? Commercial Flying? Farming? Trains? Shipping on the seas or rivers? Shipping via trucks?

I’m pretty sure the Military will be held as first in line for fuel. Perhaps with a gentle nag to maybe not burn up too much of it in “training exercises”.

I’d expect ships to be 2nd in line, if for no other reason than that they often do (or at least can) burn heavier dirtier and a lot cheaper to make “bunker fuel oils”. (California mandates the use of very clean spec lighter fuel oils withing some miles of the coast – 50? – but the ships shift back to cheaper fuels off shore).

Third would most likely be Emergency Equipment. Fire departments, hospital standby generators, etc.

After that it starts to get a bit more murky…

Is it more important to grow grain, or to ship it via barge, or trains, or are trucks more important to get the grain to the pig farms, then the pigs to the processor and the bacon to the stores?

Break the link anywhere you still get no bacon.

Is it more important to stop folk flying around for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or to promote the flying and have them leave the cars at home? Ought we be encouraging folks to fly to Florida and leave their home oil heaters turned off up north? Do we prioritize that home heating oil over flying?

That’s the problem with rationing. A FREE & Fair Market is the best allocator we’ve found so far. The problem is that due to the heavy hand of Government, very few markets are truly free or fair anymore. “Regulation” distorts. Rationing distorts more.

Sidebar On Europe:

I’ve seen the assertion that we are sending a lot of our Diesel to Europe. Europe pissed on their oil supplier and now is having difficulty finding a replacement for Russian fuels. Europe has a much higher percentage of Diesel Cars than America, so for a very long time we’ve swapped some amount of Diesel for Gasoline. How much more Diesel are we sending over now due to Europe “sanctioning” their own fuel supplies?

Sidebar On Gang Green:

Gang Green & The Biden Crime Family (and the DNC Writ Large) have conspired to eliminate Petroleum Supply. Now if you were an oil refiner with an old refinery that was making a lot of Diesel Oil, and you had to do a bunch of repair / refurbishing (as is always the case since equipment wears out in use); you might be faced with many $Millions to do an upgrade that will pay you back over the next 25 years. Except you have been told you will be out of business in 10 years “to save the planet”. Do you do that upgrade, or do you just keep the plant running as long as possible on what you have invested already while you suck out as much of your sunk costs as possible?

The obvious answer is that you stop new investments and as old sections of plant reach end of life, you just shut them down. Over time the supply of refinery products drop as various bits of equipment break or wear out, but you can pocket the profit from what you can make and use that in some other business. This, after all, is what you were told to do by Gang Green & The Biden Crime Family rules.

NOBODY invests $Billions in a new Oil Refinery with a 40 year life span when you have been told your product will be illegal in 10 years. (Oh, and you are evil too… /snark;)

Sidebar On Oil Production:

All oil fields start off producing a lot, then the amount you get per year slowly declines. It takes a LOT of money to refurbish an oil field. CO2 injection, fracking (done since the Civil War Era…), drilling new and additional wells in old fields, steam injection, etc. All are very costly. Will you do a 20 or even 10 year pay-back enhancement of an oil field when you are being old you might be put out of business by fiat at any moment? When the pipelines to take that added oil to market are being shut down? Nope. Investment in drilling and enhancement stops, and you shift to the lowest cost, lowest staffing profile possible. You “run it into the ground” and take the money and run. It is the rational thing to do.

As soon as The Feds tell you no more leasing and we are shutting you down in 10 years, investments in making more oil halt and IMMEDIATELY the amount of oil coming to market starts to drop. At first, slowly, but with increasing speed as more oil fields need upgrade work that is no longer being done.

In Conclusion

All of this is an absolutely clear and obvious consequence of the “Global Warming” and Gang Green policies being pushed by the DNC, Biden Crime Family, and Democrats / Progressives writ large. There is nothing at all that is a surprise here. (Well, not to people who can think or run a business) Yet somehow the folks in the District Of Criminals (Wash. DC) seem surprised. Go figure.

It is really pretty simple:

There is no way, at all, to replace all that Diesel and Jet Fuel powered equipment in anything less than about 40 years (if ever). For most of it, there is NO alternative equipment that works. You can not string power lines over the Pacific Ocean. Electrification of rail traffic works in very high density areas, but is incredibly expensive in the largely empty “Fly Over Country”. The quantity of copper that would be needed to electrify transportation is about 100 times the amount we can mine.

It simply can not be done.

So tell the oil industry to “go away in 10 years” and they will start doing that. Which will also mean that you can’t run your planes, trains, ships, military, emergency equipment, etc. etc.

The whole economy will grind to a halt.

The only question really is “Does that happen in year 9, or 8, or in 2 weeks?”

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Economics - Trading - and Money, Emergency Preparation and Risks, Energy, News Related, Political Current Events. Bookmark the permalink.

77 Responses to T Minus 14 Days & Counting Down Diesel

  1. cdquarles says:

    Yep. When folk show you and tell you exactly what they believe and who they are, take them at their word. I am going to call them GanGrene, for they are a dead, rotting appendage, whose putrification threatens the whole body of society.

  2. another ian says:

    Sneaking this in here

    What a sales pitch!

    “Goldman Sachs’ Jeff Currie: ‘$3.8 Trillion of Investment in Renewables Moved Fossil Fuels from 82% to 81% of Overall Energy Consumption’ in 10 Years”


  3. Foyle says:

    I looked, but couldn’t find any significant seasonality to diesel pricing – would be an obvious opportunity for large scale storage (relatively cheap to set up) and arbitrage it that were the case.

  4. jim2 says:

    On Bloomberg TV, White House NEC Director Brian Deese says the Administration has told the “industry” to up the output of diesel. They do everything they can to kill oil production and stop refinery building, then have the gall to say something like this. They damn well know the “industry” doesn’t have a magic tap to produce more diesel, or they would be doing it given the higher prices. They are hypocritical liars.

    He also said something about a heating oil reserve. Not sure what that is or how much.

  5. jim2 says:

    Diesel supplies are so tight heading into winter that profits for producing the heating and trucking fuel are nearing a record high.

    The diesel crack spread, a measure of refining profits, touched $77.32 Friday, just shy of the all-time intraday high hit in June. The supply shortage is also evident in the prompt spread — the difference between the two nearest futures contracts — which is at the widest level since May.


  6. jim2 says:

    Hoarding may be part of the short-term issue, but can’t blame people for doing it. The real culprit is “green energy” as you say.

    Diesel demand in California is soaring as the risk of blackouts in the state spurs big power users to load up on fuel for generators.

    Hospitals, data centers and other major energy consumers are buying up increasingly scarce diesel supplies to prepare for possible power outages, according to local fuel distributors. That’s likely to push prices for the fuel even higher in the state even as the national average continues to fall.


  7. H.R. says:

    @cdq – I think you’ve added another descriptor to the lexicon with ‘GanGrene’.

    We have GEBs for Government or Greedy or Globalist Evil Bastards, and often the ‘G’ stands for all three at the same time, e.g. FauXi.

    When I write about the useful idiots and minions of the GEBs, I use ‘greens’ or ‘greenies’ and often put ‘commie’ in front of them. But I like GanGrene and it’s easy enough to add an ‘S’ to the end.

    It’s similar to GanGrene’s use of ‘denier’ to get people to associate climate realists with Holocaust deniers. GanGrene should work in much the same way, and when using it, you don’t have to add any explanation that you mean ‘Greens’ and take a dim view of the positions. It’s not necessary here, but away from this blog, if I use GEB I usually spell in out in parentheses as you would when introducing any acronym.

    So, I’m going to try to remember to switch to GanGrene instead of greenies. Oh, I have seen some use of gangreen, but the negative connotation isn’t as strong as GanGrene, That makes the association more explicit, such as using FauXi to make that evil rat bastard’s ties to China and Wuhan fairly obvious. The reader doesn’t have to work very hard to ‘get it’.

  8. H.R. says:

    I’m taking my truck to Florida and we are also taking Mrs. H.R.’s ride.

    We’ve discussed here that diesel may become scarce and E.M. has posted his home brew solutions to get around that problem.

    Although I believe the GEBs are trying to collapse the supply of diesel completely, I think that we are first going to go through a situation similar to the ’70s shortages where you can get diesel intermittently.

    Right now, the truck and trailer are separated, and if we are not in Florida, I’d have to use over a thousand miles worth of diesel just traveling to go move the trailer. I think I am going to leave the truck with the trailer wherever the trailer is from now on.

    It’s nice having the truck at home, but I have had limited use for a truck for projects. Most of my projects – I think all – of my projects around the hose that require a truck are done. So, it just sits most of the time. I filled up when I got home, and yesterday I filled up for the trip at $4.999 (yay!) per gallon.

    I’ve burned 24.5 gallons in the six months we’ve been home, and almost all the usage was just to keep the battery charged and the fluids circulated. I used it 3 times where it was needed for projects. Once to get a load of 8′ and 16′ composite decking boards for that deck rebuild I have mentioned here. Another time was to get 16′ lengths of baseboard molding to replace some bad molding at the mother-in-law’s condo where we had a lot of repairs and fixing up to do before selling it. (It closed Monday. Yay!) And I used it to haul garden soil for the new raised garden I put in this year. It wasn’t strictly needed for that as I could have used my little truck, the Honda Fit, and just made extra trips.

    I would have considered keeping the truck with me at all times, but I don’t know if I can easily park the truck with the trailer in the future. I do think that for at least a couple of years, I’ll be able to get enough diesel to move it to wherever the outfit is needed. So down it goes to Florida to stay with the trailer.

    We shall see how it goes after this election and we find out how many Dem seats are kept via election fraud.

  9. E.M.Smith says:


    Storage is very expensive and risky. The price volatility of oil is far greater than that of “just Diesel vs gas” so attempting to arbitrage Diesel is swamped by the time variance of oil itself.

    The seasonal variation is real, but has diminished over time. (Reasons below). It also has variation across the geography (more in the North East, less in places with lots of Natural Gas).

    Oh, and note too that you have to separate D1 from D2 if looking for the swing and that the swap between them is “seasonal by location”. So where I lived there was Zero use of D1, but 150 miles up the mountains, D1 was was THE winter fuel.

    OK, the confounding bits:

    Originally (back about 1970 was when I first noticed this) there was a lot of Light Sweet Crude and not a lot of Catalytic Crackers (“Cat” crackers) turning heavy oils into lighter gasoline. Gasoline was originally a kind of waste product from distillation of Kerosene for kerosene lamps – so was a cheap fuel for that newfangled automobile thing. Heavier Fuel Oils were also a kind of waste product and were used in oil fired steam ships, later in Diesel ships. As electric lights replaced kerosene lamps, the premium for Kerosene faded. As more cars flooded the world, a premium started to show up for Gasoline. By the ’70s, the gasoline premium made Diesel sell for less than Regular Gas (in a farm town you notice such things and it was well known among the farmers in our restaurant – who talk about such things).

    Sidebar on Tractors:

    Over history of Tractors, they have used many different fuels. From Steam Tractors that ran on wood or any other biomass laying about the farm, to kerosene (4:1 compression ratio engines with spark ignition!), gasoline, alcohol, and eventually mostly ending up at Diesel by the post W.W.II era. Farmers are ALWAYS looking at the fuel costs to plough and trying to find the cheapest operation costs for their Tractors. So Diesel it was as Diesel was way cheaper than gasoline in tractors then. IF current Diesel costs hold up, watch for folks doing all kinds of alternative fuel tractors “going forward”.

    Funny Fuels & Me:

    So in the ’70s, ’80s, and into the ’90s I was watching fuel prices closely (kind of a hobby along with my fixation on “funny fuels” and running all sorts of flammables in engines not intended for them – started with a Honda Trail 90 on propane in about 1969, a 10% Diesel mix in a VW in about ’72, and propane into a Diesel in about ’83). In the ’80s I got my first Diesel and began swapping between Diesel and Gasoline more or less seasonally as the prices changed. I’ve been doing it ever since. When Diesel is below the cost of Mid-Grade or Regular, I’d run Diesel. When on a par with Super, I’d use the gas car – more or less.. So I’ve got about 40 years of personal experience doing this and watching prices.

    Post Arab Oil Embargo:

    A lot of things changed with the Arab Oil Embargo of the ’70s. One of them was a push to use more Heavy Sour crude. (Venezuela has a world load of it… some about like tar…). In about the late ’80s to ’90s, tar sands came on line in a significant way (if slowly). Why does this matter? Because heavy crude yields a LOT of heavy stuff like oils and tars, while light crude yields a lot of light stuff like kerosene and gasoline.

    Depending on your crude oil source, you get excess gasoline or excess diesel and they may be priced accordingly..

    Oil Companies hated this. They want to sell fuel based on the K-Cal or BTU of energy in the fuel. They want Diesel to sell for a 20% premium over gasoline (due to a 20% more energy density), not at parity or discount.

    Enter the Cat Cracker.

    As we were using less Arabian Light and more Venezuelan Heavy, more refineries were enhanced with the addition of Cat Crackers. Turning that heavy crude into more gasoline and less fuel oils. (This step does cost, both for the Cat Cracker hardware / catalysts but also for the energy to keep it hot enough to work). Not quite fully there, but on the way to $/BTU.

    Europeans, being cheap bastards compared to most profligate Americans, went for Diesel Cars. Americans didn’t. As I’m a cheap bastard too, I love my Diesels. American industry are also cheap bastards, so went for Diesel trucks. As a consequence, Europe used a LOT more Diesel than gasoline so their refineries made a bunch of excess gasoline they had to get rid of. US Refineries had to make a LOT of gasoline for our post W.W.II automotive boom, and had excess Diesel. So a cross Atlantic swap trade became a common feature. This helped approximate the prices on both sides (at the wholesale level). It also means that there is a price gradient for both fuels with a Gasoline cost to ship premium in America and a Diesel cost to ship premium for Diesel landed in Europe. (Classic arbitrage issue).

    Fast Forward to NOW:

    Now there’s a war on All Things Oil. IMHO, largely driven out of the fact that Europe doesn’t have much of their own, and lost their overseas oil fields when the locals decided it was their natural resource and nationalized it. Being at an extreme energy cost dis-advantage is not good for a country / manufacturing, so best to try to raise the costs for everyone else. Demonize some countries / sources (Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, now Russia) and just bomb the hell out of others (Lybia). Etc. Then push the notion everyone in the whole world must use some other energy source, like the only ones you have … wind, solar,…

    OK, some intervening changes to tech also happened. Zeolite Catalysts moved from “some special rock” to “custom designed in a lab” and we no longer needed highly expensive stuff like Platinum in Cat Crackers. Most refineries were required to do catalytic reforming of gasoline and other fuels anyway (to remove ring compounds and make them straight chains – reduce “soot” and remove carcinogens – “reformers”). And the crack spreads reduced. Seasonal variation in price was now reduced to cost of the (cheaper) cat cracker operations costs and when you hit the limit of how many you had usable.

    Sidebar on Gulf Wars:

    Oh, and one other thing I noticed. Here in America where gas & Diesel prices are less driven by government policy & taxes than in Europe, when the various Gulf Wars broke out: Gasoline Prices dropped. How Odd, I thought. Diesel stayed high and sometimes went higher. Out of sync with seasons. WT? Pondering a bit, I realized it was because the War Machine only runs on Middle Distillate. It has nearly NO USE for Gasoline. But it needed far more middle distillate than could be cranked out via reformers turning light ends into heavier D2 or K1. Oh Dear! So the answer was to run the refineries wide open making Middle Distillate and just dump the gasoline to whoever would take it at lower prices. So I now watch for rising Diesel prices with falling Gasoline prices as an indicator of potential war preparations….

    Back to Winter Heating:

    Over the decades, more of the homes in the North East that were Oil Burners have converted to Heat Pumps. Natural gas fracking in the giant fields of places like Pennsylvania had folks near them moving to Natural Gas heat. The seasonal Suckage on Middle Distillate for home heating has been dropping steadily since the ’70s.

    With the current demonizing of all things Oil, I’m fairly certain that trend is growing. I doubt that the Progressives in Chicago or New York are happy to issue permits for new homes with oil heat, and I’d expect large areas to be mandatory Heat Pumps to “save the planet”.

    Eventually I expect the Winter Bump in Diesel to end.


    I’ve still seen seasonal variations in Diesel price as recently as 3 or 4 years ago in California, more recently outside of California (see below per Cal.) This was in a warmer area of California where D2 is used year round and is the same cut as Heating Oil. (No D1 price contamination). I can’t say how this relates to, say, Alaska or Main.

    Here in Florida:

    Right Now Diesel is selling for almost exactly $2 / gallon above Regular Unleaded Gasoline. $5.30 when gas is about $3.35 / gallon. This is a bit nuts.

    Why is it nuts? Because at those prices, nobody ought to be Cat Cracking middle distillate to gasoline, and they ought to be running gasoline through reformers to make it heavier and selling it as Diesel. (F.T. processes) This, to me, shouts at Market Disruption via Governments. (Exactly which governments and what processes / laws / taxes / whatever TBD). One example though: California tossed an extra tax on Diesel a year or two back. Suddenly Diesel was at parity or higher than Gasoline even in summer. I parked my Diesel car for most of a year or two.

    At this point, I think it is just the War On Refineries. Saudi Arabia and many other oil rich nations have been adding a LOT of refineries and now prefer to ship products than crude oil. The USA attacked the Venezuelan economy / oil industry and basically confiscated the CONOCO oil refineries that were owned by Venezuela in the USA (and possessions). This took a LOT of heavy sour crude out of our supply. ( I made money for several years out of Valero, who had converted their refineries to run Venezuelan Heavy Sour when most in the USA could not, so had excess profits from that ability…) With that heavy sour went a feed stock that made cheaper Diesel than gasoline… so now we get product shipped from Saudi Arabia where their Light Sweet is great for Gasoline, Diesel less so… Then there’s that whole war in Ukraine sucking on Middle Distillate… perhaps also from Saudi?

    At this point, this is already too long, but I think you get the point.

    The Seasonal Variation in demand for oil fuels IS there and IS real, but shrinking every year as oil heaters get replaced with other tech (heat pumps) today. It is swamped by various government manipulations (wars, taxes, regulating refineries out of business,…) that vary by time and place. And in the last few years, taxes and regulations designed to punish Diesel in particular have expanded (flourished?). In “Blue States” in particular, the States discovered they could tax Diesel up to and a bit over the price of Gasoline and capture for themselves that 20% excess energy / gallon.

    Then at this particular moment, due to the War On Refineries and Oil In General: nobody in their right mind would sink one $ into building, extending, enhancing, or even doing operational maintenance of an oil refinery unless the payback period was under 5 years. In 10 you are supposed to be out of business, so better take all you can out now as profit and recovery of sunk cost; and have as close to zero remaining value in that refinery in 8 to 9 years.

    So you have a reformer or cat cracker that needs a new load of catalyst, good for 2 years, you do it. You have a reformer or cat cracker that needs replacement and has a 20 year lifespan? Nope. Run it until it fails catastrophically and collect the insurance.

    That, perhaps coupled with some desire to “stick it” to the folks telling you to go out of business, is what I think is happening now.

    Oh, and honorary mention for the probability that All Government Tyrants will be wanting to “stick it” to Truckers for the audacity of saying “You are screwing up”….

    So looking for that seasonal signal is not as simple as just comparing price series over a couple of years. You must allow for things like wars, government policy changes, actions of folks like Saudi Arabia (be it embargoes or building refineries) and what the average feedstock to a place looks like (heavy / light or sweet / sour) and the degree to which Oil Sands and Tar Shale are exploited (allowed to be exploited…)

    Me? I just watched the price at the pump and drove the Diesel more when it was cheaper than Premium and less when it was at parity. Noticed I drove the Diesel a lot more in Summer than in Winter… and a lot less during Wars…

  10. cdquarles says:

    Another note about oil. Texas and the Gulf offshore tend to produce light, sweet oil. That gets processed locally, into gas in the winter and into heating oil in the summer. Normal seasonal swing is gas dropping after the winter preparation switch and gas rising after the spring preparation switch. FL has been hostile to oil for quite some time now. The closest you’ll see oil/gas rigs to Florida is near Mobile Bay then southward and westward.

  11. another ian says:

    “Can’t get diesel without gasoline. Matched set.”



    “Biden Created a Secret Deal with Saudi Arabia to Lower Gasoline Prices Ahead of Midterm Election, Leading to Anger Over White House Feeling Double-Crossed
    October 26, 2022 | Sundance | 49 Comments
    The extreme vitriol against the recent OPEC+ decision to cut oil output, specifically the extreme Biden anger toward Saudi Arabia, now takes on additional context as the New York Times writes about a secretly negotiated deal between the Kingdom and White House officials that was never executed.”

    More at


  12. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Yes but…

    While crude refines into those strata as shown, the ratio varies with the type of crude and the details of the refinery design.

    Cracking can turn big molecules into littler ones, and various reforming processes can be used to turn little ones into bigger ones. There’s several catalysts that can turn naphtha (basically bad gasoline, poor octane rating) into Diesel fraction hydrocarbons. How much any process is done in any given refinery depends on how costly the process is there and how much premium can be made from the fuel created.


    Gives a lot of examples. Like:


    Article Summary

    Increasingly, refiners are having to look for alternative ways to dispose of naphtha. Traditional markets such as petrochemical naphtha sales are suffering competition from Middle Eastern gas-based steam crackers. Also, given the considerable amount of spare gasoline production capacity in the world refining system, opportunities to export regular gasoline to markets such as the US will continue to decline and reduce the opportunity to incorporate naphtha into the gasoline pool.

    Rebalancing of the refinery product slate away from naphtha/gasoline towards diesel is required to meet the projected global diesel demand. Dieselisation is a term commonly applied in the oil refining industry to the practice of shifting yields towards diesel by a combination of crude selection, low-severity fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) operation, and increased hydrocracking and residue upgrading.

    More radical options, which are explored in greater detail in this article, include the conversion of naphtha to heavier distillates via steam reforming and subsequent middle distillate synthesis, or polymerisation (oligomerisation) of cracked naphtha material. Case studies based on an average European refinery configuration and crude feed indicate the potential that could be achieved.

    So yeah, they both come together… but you can convert pretty much any of the components into any of the products. Just a matter of time, money, and equipment… so only some of the processes are used at only some of the refineries since they are the ones that make money doing it.

    It isn’t a fixed ratio and immutable. It’s an infinite range and a function of how you build your refinery; which comes down to money and desired goals.

    So yes, you can’t get gasoline without Diesel or Diesel without gasoline; but then you CAN turn one into the other if for some reason you needed to or wanted to…

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    The wiki on cracking is pretty good. It points out that the USA uses a method that yields more gasoline (FCC Fluid Catalytic Cracking) while the Europeans & Asians tend toward a method that yields more Diesel (Hydrocracking):



    Hydrocracking is a catalytic cracking process assisted by the presence of added hydrogen gas. Unlike a hydrotreater, hydrocracking uses hydrogen to break C-C bonds (hydrotreatment is conducted prior to hydrocracking to protect the catalysts in a hydrocracking process). In the year 2010, 265 × 106 tons of petroleum was processed with this technology. The main feedstock is vacuum gas oil, a heavy fraction of petroleum.

    The products of this process are saturated hydrocarbons; depending on the reaction conditions (temperature, pressure, catalyst activity) these products range from ethane, LPG to heavier hydrocarbons consisting mostly of isoparaffins. Hydrocracking is normally facilitated by a bifunctional catalyst that is capable of rearranging and breaking hydrocarbon chains as well as adding hydrogen to aromatics and olefins to produce naphthenes and alkanes.

    The major products from hydrocracking are jet fuel and diesel
    , but low sulphur naphtha fractions and LPG are also produced. All these products have a very low content of sulfur and other contaminants. It is very common in Europe and Asia because those regions have high demand for diesel and kerosene. In the US, fluid catalytic cracking is more common because the demand for gasoline is higher.

    The hydrocracking process depends on the nature of the feedstock and the relative rates of the two competing reactions, hydrogenation and cracking. Heavy aromatic feedstock is converted into lighter products under a wide range of very high pressures (1,000-2,000 psi) and fairly high temperatures (750°-1,500 °F, 400-800 °C), in the presence of hydrogen and special catalysts.

    Refineries are fairly complex beasts with a lot of variation in design and operations to adjust to different input crudes and different desired output products. They are a fascinating example of what I’d call “Applied Organic Chemistry” writ very large (and hot!).

    FWIW one of my college room-mates (Chem-E) went to work for Shell Oil at a refinery. Also my Daughter-in-law’s Dad worked at a Standard Oil Refinery (though other than “operating the plant” I don’t really know what his job was…). So at one time I got interested in how they work and what they do… (about the ’70s to ’80s mostly). But I was more interested in how you can “crack” wood and similar plant wastes to make motor fuel (“gassifier” or “wood gas” production) in home brew systems. In theory you can use some of the same oil refinery tech with wood, but nobody does as there isn’t any money in it compared to oil.

  14. Taz says:

    More than anything, I fear the current mindset of the oil industry.

    They are liquidating themselves.

  15. cdquarles says:

    One of the studies, and papers, I did way back when was pyrolysis oil. It works, but you need heat and control the atmosphere you use. It isn’t that different than making charcoal, but more controlled. If I am not mistaken, wood or coal have more minerals in them than crude oil.

  16. jim2 says:

    Knock-on effects of the Green Energy Extremists policies multiply.

    The global diesel market looks set to get even tighter as power generators and industrial users seek relief from surging natural gas prices.

    Consumers are seeking alternatives to gas after prices rallied to unprecedented levels as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked an energy crisis in Europe. It’s also happening as global diesel stockpiles remain unusually low at a time inventories are typically expanding in preparation for a boost in consumption over winter.


  17. jim2 says:

    I find it funny, is a sad way, that governments around the world believe they can legislate reality. Reality will have the final say and hopefully it will come out of government leader’s backsides.

    A provision in the Biden administration’s new purchasing rules for its emergency oil reserves suggests the government is preparing to bulk up supplies of gasoline and diesel.

    The new rules sweeten the terms for suppliers selling diesel, gasoline and other fuels to the government, which may spur a build in national inventories.

    The changes come as the Biden administration tries to tame energy prices and ramp up fuel supplies heading into winter, and ahead of the November election. Retail prices of gasoline and diesel are at historically high levels, while inventories are perilously low for this time of year. National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told Bloomberg TV Wednesday that “all options are on the table” to build supplies and reduce prices.


  18. David A says:

    Taz says, “More than anything, I fear the current mindset of the oil industry.
    They are liquidating themselves.”

    Under Trump they certainly were not. Is it not more like they are being liquidated, so taking what profit they can and not wasting funds investing in what will be liquidated on any nuts whim?

  19. H.R. says:

    Re jim2’s find about the gummint buying gasoline and diesel at high prices to replenish what they sold off:

    I can leave my tinfoil hat sitting on the chair in the corner for this one. If I was a GEB/WEF/UN/WTF out to destroy the West and America in particular, it makes perfect sense.

    1.) Stop new oil production and waste tons of money on unreliable energy.

    2.) Transportation and heating fuel inventories decline, and supply side inflation takes off.

    3.) Sell off strategic reserves. Export the reserves so the US doesn’t get any relief.

    4.) Piss off any oil producing countries so they won’t sell oil to the U.S.

    5.) Fuel inventories will decline further. People will have to travel less, tighten up and spend mostly on food and shelter. Consumer goods factories and stores start failing due to lack of consumer spending. Large numbers of people will wind up dependent on government handouts.

    6.) Farms won’t be able to plant or harvest due to high fuel prices and unavailability of fertilizers for what little they could plant. Trucks won’t have fuel to take declining food stocks to market and transport spares and key equipment to manufacturers and processors as things break down from normal use.

    !!! 7.) Gummint then offers petroleum products a premium to sell to the gummint to replenish the massive amount of reserves that were sold off since they have made room to buy more.

    With the gummint hoovering up much of the remaining oil production, #1 through #6 become much worse much faster. The odds of making it to a 2024 election become very slim. Trump and elections may become irrelevant if the U.S. crashes and burns before 2024.

    That’s just the energy side of the effort to destroy America. There has been the insane deficit spending to devalue the dollar, the lockdowns that destroyed many of the mom & pop businesses, a proxy war that uses up tremendous amounts of money and material, unrestricted illegal immigration and financial support for the illegals, the cultural war to destroy family via the ‘woke’ agenda, and the destruction of law enforcement and the release of criminals to increase crime and create fear.

    Note that the YSM and tech have been aiding and abetting all of this by pushing out the necessary propaganda narratives and censoring sane, opposing views. They are useful idiots and will be the first to go, either at the hands of the people or the GEBs, who always get rid of the useful idiots first.

    I still have hope. When you look at that old red/blue map of the U.S. that showed how many counties Trump won versus how many Clinton won, you see a vast expanse of people across the middle of the country who are capable and self-reliant or have roots only a generation or two away from their self-reliant forebears and remember enough to pick up the old skills fairly quickly. And that vast middle is armed. Don’t push them over the edge.

    Near as I can figure, the first to crash and burn will be the Big Blue Cities, and that’s not where there is much resistance to the GEBs anyhow.

    Back to trip prep.

  20. rhoda klapp says:

    I keep waiting for reality to strike. If this winter does it the whole house of cards must collapse. Mustn’t it?

  21. Jon K says:

    This highlights one of the major contributing factors to the supply/price issue. I’ll never understand how so many idiots in government do not or purposely will not understand the ramifications of their demonization of carbon based fuels.


  22. YMMV says:

    Europeans, being cheap bastards compared to most profligate Americans, went for Diesel Cars. Americans didn’t. As I’m a cheap bastard too, I love my Diesels.

    Europeans used to be poor. Diesel cars cost more. But they lasted longer.
    I can’t speak for Europeans, but Americans were never given the choice to have a Diesel car until recently. A few imports. When did Diesel pickups become available?

    “US diesel shortage worsens”

    Diesel supplies in New England, the US region most reliant on distillate fuels for heating, have reportedly dwindled to about one-third of normal levels for this time of year. Nationwide, the US has only 25 days’ worth of diesel supplies, the lowest level since 2008.

    A previous comment mentioned the increasing number of heat pumps in the NE region. That is a cold region, so heat pumps do not make sense. But there are claims that there are now cold climate heat pumps. Really?

  23. E.M.Smith says:


    The North East is not as cold as you think, especially near the ocean where the Gulf Stream passes by on its way to warm up northern Europe. It is the Mid-West that’s OMG cold. Think Dakotas down to about Kansas.

    Yes, you get a lot of “lake effect snow” in Buffalo New York, but for minus-until-it-hurts, go to Fargo North Dakota or International Falls, Minnasota.
    record low of -55 F ( -48 C) in January with a January Mean Minimum of -33 F ( 36 C). Compare to Boston:
    record low of -18 F ( -28 C) in February with a Feb Mean Min of 8.3 F (-13.2 C) but also note Feb daily mean is 31.8 F (-0.1 C) and average low is just 24.6 F ( – 4.1 C ).

    For largely historical reasons, I think, the oil heaters were not as common in the Mid-West and are rare “Out West”. So no matter what is put in now, there, it tends to not impact heating oil sales. Coastal East is full of old houses with oil heaters that are happy to swap to things like Natural Gas or Heat Pumps (or heat pumps with natural gas backup).

    FWIW, I’ve had natural gas heat my entire life in California. I’ve only seen ONE house with an oil heater on the West coast (in Oregon in the 1960s). Here in Florida, I’ve got something that has a 70 Amp Breaker on it… don’t know if it is a heat pump with resistance assist or just straight resister heating… but it clearly is not expected to run very often ;-)

    Essentially what I’m saying is that the technology used for heating varies more with the geography (how cold it gets and what fuel was / is nearby) and the era when the house was built, than with any particular efficiency calculations. (At least up until about the 2000s or so).

    FWIW, I’m going to watch my power bill this winter and then decide if I want to install a propane tank and heater option… I’m expecting that I won’t need one…

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and per Diesel cars in the USA:

    Yes, these were almost all German Imports for cars for most of my life. In the ’80s GM came out with a “Dieselized Gas Engine” that was absolute crap and destroyed the US Diesel Car market for a few decades. Even Mercedes took a hit on that (for no good reason).

    Per Diesel Pickup Trucks:

    You could get a Diesel Engine in trucks pretty much always, I think. I remember some of them being around when I was a kid. What I don’t know is just how many were folks DIY conversions and if any were “from the maker” that way. I owned a 1980 International Harvester Scout with a Nissan Turbo Diesel engine in it; from the factory that way. So at least 42 years for sure.

    There were also a lot of “Army Surplus” trucks from various eras with Diesel engines in them too.

    These folks say it started after the Arab Oil Embargo:

    Ford’s First Diesel Pickup Engine
    Published on
    17 April 2016
    Jim Allen

    It was the 1970s and people were reeling from the shock of gas prices that had tripled in just a few short years. The effect was profound: a national 55 mph speed limit, government-mandated fuel economy standards, and consumers scrambling for vehicles with better fuel economy. Diesel pickup engines, at the time not much of a presence in the American car and light truck market, were immediately eyed as a fuel economy answer. The collective American eyebrow raised at the idea of noisy, smelly, smoky diesels, not to mention the notable scarcity of diesel fuel stations at the time, but the diesel’s high fuel economy and low-cost fuel were attractive, especially in the truck world where a torquey gasser meant sub-10-mpg fuel economy.

    Note it says “not much of a presence” but does not say zero…

    In 1978, GM and Dodge tied for being the first to offer a diesel pickup engine. The Chevrolet entry was a C10 with the notorious Olds 5.7L V-8 making 120 naturally aspirated horsepower. Dodge fielded a 4.0L (243ci) Mitsubishi NA diesel inline-six with 100 rip-snorting horsepower in half and 3/4-ton 4×2 and 4x4s. Dodge dropped the Mitsu after 1979 and remained diesel-less until 1989, but Chevrolet continued to offer the 5.7 in C10s through 1981, and then replaced it with the vastly better 6.2L in 1982. The stage was now set for a grand entrance by Ford.

    And on it goes. So in 1978 it went mainstream. But…


    mostly has pictures of bigger highway rigs, but scroll down a ways and you see some with flat beds and what looks like stakeside as you would see on farms.

    So folks were making them before I was born… even if not quite a “pickup”…


    Efficiency was critical during the rationing years and Autocar sought to reduce customers’ operating costs. Autocar was an early adopter of diesel engines and offered the 672 cubic inch, 150-horsepower Cummins Diesel HB-600 in 1939. Not only were Autocar’s diesel trucks more cost-effective to fuel than gasoline-powered models, they also hauled heavier loads.

    A letter to Autocar from General Dwight Eisenhower praised the company’s efforts, saying “It was the job of motor transport to deliver the goods, and American wheels and axles never let us down”.

    So Diesel Trucks of mid-size and even some more modest were kicking around. But mostly in use as highway hauling and on farms. Though in that era the “Pickup Truck” was usually a very small thing. One Ton was rare and 1/2 ton was “big” (the Model T pickup was 750 lbs IIRC).

    Farmers had on-farm fuel tanks full of Diesel for the Diesel tractors and having a haul truck in Diesel meant only one tank needed. Some guys would do strange things with moving drive trains to their personal trucks too…

    Hopefully that answers your question.

  25. YMMV says:

    “The North East is not as cold as you think”

    I think any place that gets snow is cold. Winter is a nice place to visit, but…

    That said, not all of us get that choice. We get by because of artificial heat.
    Wood, coal, peat, natural gas, oil, propane, electricity, … (and blankets) although some of those cost more than others.

    My understanding of heat pumps was that they did not work very well as the outside temperature approached freezing. At some point they rely on another source (commonly electricity).

    Cold climate heat pumps exist, although I had never heard of them. My question is whether they are as good as claimed.


  26. jim2 says:

    EMS – you didn’t mention if that 70 amp breaker is single- or two-phase, but that’s a whopping big breaker for a house. 100 amps for the ENTIRE house used to be common, now they are 200 or more.

    I would be interested to know what the heck in a house needs a 7,000 watt supply? Could it be there is a trailer hookup somewhere?

  27. Jeff says:

    Stove/Oven combo? Welder? Separate workshop feed?

    [cold-weather heat pump? :lol: ]

  28. E.M.Smith says:


    My understanding is that there is a ‘tuning’ stage during heat pump installation where you set some limits for when it does what, and that is based on your local conditions. So things like duty cycle, temperatures to do what, when during the day to run, and whatever. But that’s just something I read a couple of years ago…


    There’s no official “cold climate” standard for heat pumps just yet. But the next Energy Star standard for air-source heat pumps, launching in January 2023, will include a certification mark for cold-climate heat pumps, signifying a suitable level of low-temperature performance and efficiency.

    In the meantime, the NEEP, Lis’ organization, maintains a database of heat pump models that will perform well in cold weather. Many models in the database can heat as effectively at a frigid 5° F as they can at a mild 47° F, and can also work pretty well at temps well below zero. In other words, these heat pumps are built for the big swings in temperatures that the Northeast and Midwest see every winter.

    The key feature in a cold-climate heat pump is a variable speed compressor, powered by an inverter. This kind of compressor can be helpful for heat pumps in any climate, but it’s especially beneficial in regions with big differences between the seasons. It enables a single heat pump to work efficiently and effectively in the deepest freeze of winter, the most oppressive summer afternoon, and all the milder days in between.

    In other words, there’s standards organizations and legal liability for fraud if you claim it works and it doesn’t, along with published specs per pump.


    You joke & laugh… but in looking for a standby generator I seriously considered getting one that would run the electric stove, had more than enough for my small shop, AND had a DC Welding outlet… The only thing wrong with them is the “industrial” sound level… or I’d have bought one.

    So yeah, stove, oven, welder…


    200 Amp service. Electric Stove, Electric Water Heater, Electric Clothes Dryer.

    AC is 40 A 240 V (two slots)
    “Heater” is 70 A 240 V (two slots)

    I’m expecting to find out that it is a 15 kW resistance heater on a 16,800 W breaker.

    Hopefully it only operates intermittently and only a few days out of the year 8-}

    (I expect to have some 1.5 kW roll around oil filled heaters that are used to only warm the room we are using during winter, especially at night in the bedroom…)

    OTOH, kW-hr price here is about 1/3 of California… so it’s like a 5 kW heater cost to me ;-)

    It was in the 80s F here today w/ AC running…

    Jan Ave. Highs mid 70s. Jan average low, 50s F. Daily mean mid 60s. So I figure most of winter, the “waste heat” from stuff in the house (plus sun in the windows and “sun room”) will be enough to keep us warm (and perhaps enough to need A/C with record highs about 90F in winter…).

    At least, that’s the hope. Winter bills will tell the tale…

  29. Ossqss says:

    FWIW, my 10k genny (50 amp out) uses a gallon an hour to operate. It can run my 5ton heat pump for whole house whatever. I can also run 1 40-amp element on my tankless water heater. The 4k genny runs 4 hours on a gallon and runs 3 fridge freezers and a portable 14k AC unit, lights and an LCD TV with rabbit ears. Just don’t start them all at the same time. Proven with Ian the cane this year again.

    I have never lost power for any length of time (couple hours at most) in the non-cane months over the 35+ years I have been here. Just use a portable 1500-watt portable heater if you even ever need it. Oh, and a fireplace works too :-)

    Generally, put a sweatshirt on and most will be fine in the Winter.

  30. E.M.Smith says:


    I have a fireplace ;-)

    I’m not worried about heating, really. Part of why I chose where I live now, is the warm winters. I just don’t want a surprise high bill some odd / surprise cold month because I have a giant resistive heater I didn’t know about…

    FWIW, tonight I figured out how to just turn it off. (A Switch on the thermostat…). So I’m now ready to just run the room heater in the bedroom on cold nights. I turned it off a few hours ago and have not noticed any change at all. (OTOH, it’s about perfect temperature outside right now so ought not be much heat flow in either direction…)

    So heating is an easy fix. Shut off at the thermostat and run a drop cord from a small generator to a 1500 W room heater (in a power out) or plug in the roll around 1500 W heater (to just heat one room instead of 2 k more square feet with nobody in them all night…) as a money saver on some 32 F cold surprise…

    I’m more worried about no A/C in some August ;-) It looks like it is hard wired to the breaker, so no place to move it to a generator. I’ll need to get a plug installed to put the house on a generator (and a transfer switch of some kind).

    For now I’m planning to get a roughly 2.5 kW to 4 kW generator to run fridge, freezer, etc. I could likely get by with a 2 kW for The Basics…

    At some point I need to figure out an A/C fix for power outage. Either some kind of portable rig and generator or a really big generator and a house plug / transfer switch.

    But that’s for next year, after winter…

  31. Ossqss says:

    @EM, I have a couple of these type of portable AC units, and they do quite well for emergency use for cooling (both twin tube). The 12k BTU pulls right at 9 amps and the 14k unit 10 amps. I have used these 2 units along with an 8k BTU window shaker and cooled the whole house when I had to change out the primary AC on my house over a few days in the summer a few years back.


  32. Phil Salmon says:

    I might guess that vegetable cooking oil will soon start becoming as hard to get as diesel. Together with this, some lorries and tractors will generate a curious smell while operating.

  33. beng135 says:

    Brings up a question. Most of the “diesel” locomotives burn bunker oil IIRC? So is that as limited as typical diesel?

  34. cdquarles says:

    @beng, I don’t think that’s so anymore. Years ago, yes. Currently locomotives are diesel-electric hybrids, if I am not mistaken.

  35. rhoda klapp says:

    Eight days since the post. Any signs of shortage?

    The premium for diesel in the UK now is 30 pence per litre. It used to be ten pence or less. That would be about $1.50 per US gallon.

  36. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, I just got back from a roughly 6 day “road trip” to Oklahoma and back. Pretty much from Central Florida to Oklahoma, both on the northern I-20 to I-40 route and the return of I-10: Diesel was selling for about $2 / gallon more than Regular Unleaded Gasoline. Historically it has been closer to parity.

    Official Government statistics come out on Wednesday (so, today), so we may get more information later in the day.


    Says some shortages are showing up on the East Coast (where more heating oil is used and where supply is sent up the Colonial Pipeline)

    Warning issued about diesel shortages on the east coast
    By Ashley -October 31, 2022

    A diesel supply alert has been issued by a major fuel logistics company.

    On October 25, Mansfield Energy issued a supply alert for diesel fuel markets on the east coast. The company described the current fuel market as “rapidly devolving” and noted that “markets are now seeing extremely high prices in the Northeast along with supply outages along the Southeast.”

    States included in the Mansfield Energy alert are North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Maryland.

    Mansfield Energy pointed to “poor pipeline shipping economics and historically low diesel inventories” which are “combining to cause shortages in various markets throughout the Southeast.”

    The company said that the diesel shortages “have been occurring sporadically, with areas like Tennessee seeing particularly acute challenges.”

    From Mansfield Energy:

    In many areas, actual fuel prices are currently 30-80 cents higher than the posted market average, because supply is tight. Usually the “low rack” posters can sell many loads of fuel before running out of supply; now, they only have one or two loads. That means fuel suppliers have to pull from higher cost options, at a time when low-high spreads are much wider than normal. At times, carriers are having to visit multiple terminals to find supply, which delays deliveries and strains local trucking capacity.

    That’s about it so far.

  37. another ian says:

    Another from Willis E –

    “Theres a lot of misingleading information out there these days about the oil industry and the high cost of oil. So I thought I’d provide a basic overview of the oil industry for context and understanding.

    How do I know anything about the oil industry? Well, it’s because of following my motto, “Retire Early And Often”, the origin of which I discussed in a post called “It’s Not About Me”.

    So c’mon in, sit down, it’s a sea-tale of business adventure.”


  38. The True Nolan says:

    Had a friend today comment on the forecasted diesel shortage. His take? After the upcoming certain-to-be-rigged elections take place, there will be millions of people upset. There will likely be tens of thousands of truckers who will want to do an Ottawa style protest in Washington, DC. — except that they won’t be able to if there is not enough fuel. My friend did not think that was the ONLY reason for creating a fuel shortage, merely that it might be part of the reasons.

  39. H.R. says:

    IMHO, the best protest truckers could pull off is to stop delivering anything to DC and the surrounding areas where the bureaucrats live. Cut off the snake’s head, so to speak.

    Just listen to the whining of the DC mayor when only a couple of thousand illegals were sent to DC. They can’t handle adversity. No can-do and self reliance to be found there.

  40. Ossqss says:

    @HR, I couldn’t resist>> :-)

  41. cdquarles says:

    I’ll do most anything, that you want me to do; but I can’t go for that ;p

  42. E.M.Smith says:


    That rbnenergy link from Ossqss has a couple of important points in it that I’ve not seen anywhere else.

    One “biggie” is that there is now a requirement for low sulfur ship bunker fuel (implied internationally, so everywhere). This was achieved by blending in a whole lot of low sulfur Diesel (something like 700 mb/d IIRC). That put a huge suckage on Diesel supplies that wasn’t there before.

    Another was the obvious big flows of Diesel into Europe in a vain attempt to replace Russian supply (without adding refinery capacity… in fact a giant refinery in Pennsylvania was closed as was one in Canada…)

    As per trains: Since there’s a Jihad on all things sulfur in fuel (at least in The West) one would not be using high sulfur bunker oil. IIRC the train engines can run heavier distillate than most cars & trucks, but they are still just big Diesel engines; and since they run inside areas with Smog Laws & Penalties, will be pretty much using the same Diesel cut as everyone else. (Basically, if they are going after Ships At Sea using Bunker Fuel they will certainly have hit trains operating in cities and towns…)

    IMHO, just backing off the requirement for ships to cut sulfur from 3.5 ppm to 0.5 ppm ( I think that was the change…) and letting them run straight bunker fuel oil would “free up” a heck of a lot of Diesel and ease prices almost immediately.

    I also found the bit about “banning exports” interesting. Shows how the folks proposing that are completely unaware of international dependency issues. 90% of fuel in central American countries coming from the USA, for example. (And a chunk to Mexico too). So sure, go ahead and bring Latin America to a screeching halt…

  43. cdquarles says:

    How much sulfate gets injected into the atmosphere by other than human activity? /rhetorical question, since one big volcano can spew years of sulfates into the atmosphere, by itself.

  44. another ian says:


    Re “So sure, go ahead and bring Latin America to a screeching halt…”

    Things I learned about Brasil in the 1980’s. It is about a million sq km bigger than Australia and it built most of the communications network since about 1960 – using bitumen roads and diesel trucks. So got hit hard in the oil crisis of that era as it didn’t have much local oil. Hence the fuel alcohol push.

    It now has a lot more local oil but I doubt the basic transport structure has changed much, so still with minimum railways or other options.

  45. David A says:

    EM, I highly recommend these.https://www.premiumhomesource.com/products/mrcool-diy-12k-btu-ductless-mini-split-heat-pump-complete-system-energy-star-4th-gen-diy-12-hp-wm-115c25#

    I put two in myself and found it very easy. Only requires a 20 amp service, and runs on less than that. Only needs a 3 inch wall hole. Very efficient, and whisper quiet. Dehumidify mode. No HVAC specialist needed as lines are pre-charged on the DIY models. Technically it is supposed to be a dedicated circuit. I have two this size. One is on a dedicated 20 amp, the other on a room circuit sharing lights or laptop only. Some folk hardwire to a disconnect, some simply place a 12 gauge 20 amp capacity three prong outlet and plug in. Two of this size will do more than the suggested 600 sq feet each no problem. They actually use less power than the wall units and cool very very well.

  46. David A says:

    Sorry, the use less power than even the small window units. (Not wall units)

  47. David A says:

    Finale thought. It says it will do 500 square feet. This is understated as it can do considerably more. Before I installed the second one, a single unit was effectively cooling a 850 sq foot two bedroom, a hall, and a kitchen plus a small living room area. It was in one room with a fan in the hallway moving air to the kitchen and living room. On an 85 degree day it peaked at 74 in the warmest area. I ran a separate 20 amp circuit for the second one to both have a back up, and not have to deal with a floor fan, and because my wife is very sensitive to heat and likes it cool.

  48. another ian says:

    Oh Dear!

    “Petro-Canada issues huge EV charging fee increase across the country, one week after acknowledging how unreliable their network is [Update]”


    Via SDA

  49. Simon Derricutt says:

    Another ian – also see https://www.gbnews.uk/news/tesco-customers-threaten-to-boycott-supermarket-after-it-brings-in-disgusting-electric-car-charge/383378 where Tesco’s decision to end free charging for electric vehicles is getting some flak. The iniquity of actually needing to pay to charge your EV….

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Right now, for me, that PetroCanada charge article link is giving a “database connection” failure error. Did find this:

    Pay only for the time you charge.
    When you join us along Canada’s Electric HighwayTM, pay $0.50 per minute while you charge, with no connection or idling fees.*

    That’s 1/2 dollar per minute or 30 dollars an hour… It doesn’t say what speed charger is available at that cost. So if it takes you 2 hours to charge up, that’s a $60 fill-up. Seems a bit steep to me.

    OTOH, IFF you can get from 20% to 80% in 1/2 hour, that’s a 60% fill for $15 and sounds like a Real Good Deal…

    Charge rate depending, of course, on particular charger rate capacity, what OTHER cars are charging and consuming some of the capacity (some ‘2 car’ chargers have a fixed capacity so you get 1/2 as fast if charging 2 at once…), temperature (cold batteries charge slower), state of discharge & battery type (some must start slow and most end slow), and likely a few other things too…. But I’m sure after a few dozen fills you will get to where you can guess about how much it will cost you…

  51. E.M.Smith says:


    Reading the article it sounds more like it is the PodPoint company that is now charging for the electricity and Tesco is just sort of a partner providing the parking spaces… so why not boycott PodPoint instead of Tesco? Or is this one of those owned subsidiary things?…

    Early on, Tesla’s were sold with “Free” lifetime charging. I was tepidly interested in one on those terms (but didn’t have the Big Bucks to buy one… and they didn’t have coast to coast charging available at that time so my major driving use was not usable…). I figured that it was a loss-leader to get the market started, and that eventually the real costs would need to be incorporated / recovered. Now it is…

    Will be interesting to see how folks react to that…

    FWIW, I have a minor muse of finding an old Nissan Leaf in need of a new battery (their low capacity batteries are notorious for being worn out fast as they deep cycle more than other eCars); putting in a home brew replacement, and putting a generator on a small trailer behind it…. Then driving cross country with it ;-)

    Could make an interesting set of articles & photos 8-0

    IFF I were to do this “whole hog”, I’d include a LiFePO4 battery bank on the trailer. Figure on about a 5 kW consumption rate at modest highway speed, and a 50% of the day use (so stopped for food, bio-breaks, and sleeping about 1/2 the time), a 2.5 kW or 3 kW generator would be ‘enough’ and it would take about a 60 kW-hr battery bank on the trailer.


    The Battle Born battery is only 29 pounds – which is so much lighter compared to the 63-pound-apiece UPG batteries I used to have. Although they have almost the same dimensions, the extra weight on the UPG batteries is just an unnecessary load on my rig – which is why even though the AGM ones work just fine for my system, I prefer these LiFePO4 batteries now.

    While the Amazon Link:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XX197GJ/
    says it is $875 for 100 Ah at 12 V (or 1.2 kW-h so I’d need “only” 60 of them… )

    Call it 1749 lbs and $52,500 + trailer + generator….

    Then I’d be able to drive “coast to coast” in a tiny tin can car towing a trailer at almost the same speed that I can in my Full Sized Mercedes Wagon… that cost me $900 or so used… about a decade ago… and still runs fine…

    Though I think the Leaf doesn’t have the requisite Ton+ towing capacity…

    Though depending on size of fuel tank for the generator, I might need to stop for gas more often…

  52. rhoda klapp says:

    Just hook the trailer axle to a genny?

  53. rhoda klapp says:

    Sorry, I meant dynamo.

  54. another ian says:


    That Petro Canada site working for me now.

    SDA link here


  55. The True Nolan says:

    @rhoda klapp: “Just hook the trailer axle to a genny?”

    I really hope you are joking about that, but it reminded me of a similar situation where something similar made sense. I read years ago about a man who had built a desert home far off grid and with no natural water source. Luckily he had access to water maybe twenty miles away, so he put a big water tank on a trailer and once every week or so he would drive to get water. But what about power? He had an oversized 12VDC generator on the trailer as well, belted off the wheels and charging a battery bank at the same time he went to get water. The water tank and the battery bank were sized to each last about the same duration.

    Of course these days, a desert home would have solar panels, but they were very expensive back then.

  56. Graeme No.3 says:

    A hybrid vehicle makes more sense than an EV. Longer range for starters although as electric only typically around 30 – 45 miles. Supposedly recharged by the petrol motor while driving or by plug-in to the house electricity supply.
    So smaller (lighter) battery. If the motor is connected to a dynamo then a weight saving on gearbox, differential etc.
    Have never driven one as they are SUV’s for conspicuous consumption purposes, and out of my price range.

  57. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – for the Tesco and Podpoint EV charging charges, I think that Tesco swallowed the costs (so Podpoint would have been paid to install their chargers and would receive money from Tesco for ongoing costs) and Tesco have now decided they can’t swallow those costs any longer.

    Possibly they saw that EV owners were leaving their cars until fully-charged, rather than just plugging them in, spending 30 minutes or less doing their shopping, and then leaving again. If it’s free, no need to be that urgent about unplugging the car and leaving, after all. If they need to pay for it, they’ll vacate the space earlier and more people will be able to use it.


  58. YMMV says:

    Tesco EV prices, from https://www.gbnews.uk/news/tesco-customers-threaten-to-boycott-supermarket-after-it-brings-in-disgusting-electric-car-charge/383378

    Initially, the charge for 7kW connections was free, but customers are now having to pay 28p per kWh.
    While for those who want to charge their car faster, the per kWh price rises to 40p for 22kW charging points and 50p for 50kW chargers.

  59. YMMV says:

    I was looking for how much others charge. It varies.
    But I found this interesting link.
    (the more you zoom in, the more you see)
    For some of them it gives the charging price.
    It’s not gasbuddy yet.

  60. The True Nolan says:

    @Graeme No.3: You may be interested in the Chevy Volt.

  61. YMMV says:

    The Chevy Volt was offered in two generations throughout its life cycle, with the first generation lasting between the 2010 [2011?] and 2015 model years, and the second generation lasting between the 2016 and 2019 model years. The second-generation model was powered by a 1.5L I4 gasoline engine paired with a 18.4 kWh battery pack, delivering an all-electric range of 53 miles, a substantial increase over the 38 miles of all-electric range offered by the preceding 2015 model year.

    from https://gmauthority.com/blog/2021/07/gm-sold-11-units-of-the-chevy-volt-in-q2-2021/

    For some reason, few sold. The comments to the above linked article are interesting. They give reasons why they were popular and reasons why some loved them.
    They also give reasons why they stopped making (other than poor sales).

    It seems to have been the only vehicle of that type, apart from Diesel-Electric trains.

  62. another ian says:

    A terse summary of the “EV’s for long distance travel” state of the art

    ““Fumes never smelled so sweet,” Wolfe thought when filling up her 2008 Volkswagen Jetta with gas after returning home.”

    From the second tester here


  63. another ian says:

    Southeastern U.S. Begins Running Out of Diesel Fuel

    November 5, 2022 | Sundance | 219 Comments”


  64. Graeme No.3 says:

    The True Nolan:
    Hybrid From 1916: The Owen Magnetic – Jay Leno’s Garage

    Actually I had in mind the Mitsubishi Outlander that an acquaintance owns.

  65. David A says:

    Graeme No.3
    I paid more than I ever paid for a car purchasing a RAV 4 Prime, cost complete 48 K

    Sold my Genesis with 85 K miles for 13 K
    Calif and fed rebates $9500.
    Residual value difference estimated at 8 k ( conservative) after 100 k miles.
    Fuel saving Rav 4 vs Genesis (included utility break of power at .06 per KWH midnight to 0600)
    $225 per month times 72 months, is $16,200.
    Conservative maintenance savings on RAV 4 prime first 100 k miles verses Genesis from 85,000 miles to 185,000 miles. 4k.
    total $51,700 over the first six years. So it turns out , I think, that there will be no real difference.

    Oh, the naught to 60 mph at 5.5 seconds is also kind of fun.

  66. David A says:

    Curious what diesel fuel will do to inflation, Much of the inflation is monetary, yet a very large percentage is demand driven due to supply chain problems. As Biden Democratic policy drove both, Biden and the democrats deserve credit for the SSI COLA increase.

  67. The True Nolan says:

    @Graeme No.3 : Nice Leno video. Cool car! Thanks.

  68. E.M.Smith says:

    @David A:

    The impact of prolonged Diesel shortage on inflation will be huge. EVERYTHING gets shipped.

    Ships at sea to get everything from overseas to here.
    Trains to move large cargo around the country.
    Trucks to move things to stores and deliver packages to your home.

    Basic Commodities:

    Metals and minerals are mined using Diesel trucks and equipment.
    A Farm is basically a dirt based machine for turning Natural Gas (fertilizer & driers) and Diesel (tractors & trucks & more) into food and fiber (trees).

    Every single thing made, grown, or moved around depends on fossil fuels to get the raw materials needed and deliver the products to market.

    Saw an interesting statistic the other day, total Diesel used and Population. Did a rough division: Every single person in the USA uses an average of 2 Gallons of Diesel PER DAY via the products they use. At $2 / gallon excess in the Diesel price, that’s a Diesel Cost “tax” addition of $730 per person per year. $2920 for a family of 4.

    At $15 / hour and 2000 working hours in a year, (using the $/hr The Left says is a “living wage” for food service workers), that’s about a 10% “hit” to their GROSS income. I’d expect it to be closer to a 20% hit to their net after costs of getting to work and work related expenses.

    So that’s the impact I’d expect overall to the “Real Economy”. (i.e. not looking at the wages of Lawyers & M.D.s nor looking at inflation in the cost of Tanks & Rockets…) Minimum of 5% (two workers) up to 10-20% for those with one worker, or with two at a lower wage rate. (And allowing a bit of feedback loop over time as a wage spiral develops).

  69. David A says:

    Thanks EM, that is huge, and there would be some demand inflation on top yes, as another hit on supply chains is likely on top of the cost with fewer products.

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