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March 12, 2018   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Delivering Prosperity by the Barrel

One of the leading energy products the U.S. is sending abroad is clean ultra low sulfur diesel fuel.

As America’s energy producers head to the White House this week, energy production keeps booming. U.S. oil and gas producers and refiners are setting records that help a growing U.S economy while exports of these energy products are increasing too. In fact, one of the leading energy products the U.S. is sending abroad is clean ultra low sulfur diesel fuel.

Leading U.S. energy producers are meeting with senior White House officials to talk issues important to the energy sector. The oil and gas industry is essential to the economic vitality of the U.S. While renewable sources of energy are expanding, the U.S. still relies on petroleum and gas to generate electricity, heat our homes, power our cars, move freight, cultivate crops and build things. Here, the U.S. is not alone. 

Newfound domestic supplies oil and gas are helping to meet an expanding U.S. economy but are also meeting the energy needs beyond our borders. For December 2017, the last full month for which there is data reported by the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), ultra low sulfur diesel fuel with 15 part per million (ppm) or less sulfur content was the second leading finished oil and gas product sent from U.S. refiners.

Finished Oil & Gas Product

Exports (millions of barrels): December 2017

Natural Gas Products


Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel




SOURCE: U.S. Energy Information Agency

U.S. energy production has been expanding for years. In fact, according to EIA, the U.S. reached peak petroleum production in November 2017 reaching the previous peak production level set in 1970. As production has expanded, so too has energy exports. In fact, exports of ULSD has expanded by 400 percent since 2009.


One of the main drivers for this expanded demand for U.S. ULSD, is a growing global economy. Unlike gasoline, diesel has many uses. Diesel is the predominant fuel that powers trucks, trains and marine vessels that deliver goods to agricultural machines that cultivate crops, construction equipment that completes projects and even forestry and mining equipment that extract natural resources required to keep the global economy humming. According to economic forecasts compiled by the World Bank, the global economy will grow by 3.1 percent throughout 2018 and much of this growth will be powered by diesel fuel and the vehicles and machines necessary to keep economies moving.

As the business cycle continues its expansion, more diesel fuel will be required to get the job done. Thanks to newly found energy reserves in the U.S., more U.S. made diesel fuel will keep the world growing and delver prosperity to billions of people.


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Ezra Finkin
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