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October 8, 2015

West Coast petroleum markets differ by supply, demand, and distribution

graph of selected petroleum products demand by region, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, PADD 5 Transportation Fuels Markets
Note: Gasoline supply includes ethanol.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released a PADD 5 Transportation Fuels Markets study on September 30 that examines supply, demand, and distribution of petroleum-based transportation fuels in Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) 5, which encompasses California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii.

PADD 5's large and diverse geography contains several regional markets, each with its own distinct supply and demand situation:

  • Southern California and Southern Nevada
  • Northern California and Northern Nevada
  • Pacific Northwest, which includes Washington and Oregon
  • Arizona
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska

The sub-PADD markets are relatively isolated from each other and have different characteristics. Examining the markets at this level allows for insights into the dynamics of each market and how it relates to the PADD as a whole. For instance, PADD 5 includes Hawaii and Alaska, which use a disproportionally higher amount of jet fuel than other markets.

For each regional market as well as PADD 5 as a whole, the study considers supply, demand, supply logistics, and infrastructure. Supply includes in-region refinery production, receipts of fuels produced in other U.S. areas and in other PADD 5 regional markets, and imports. Demand includes in-region consumption, transfers of fuels to other parts of the United States (other PADDs) and to other regional markets within PADD 5, and exports to the global market. Distribution infrastructure includes storage terminals, pipelines, rail facilities, marine loading and unloading facilities, and marine vessel availability.

This study is the first in a series that the U.S. Energy Information Administration plans to conduct to enhance public understanding of the important features of petroleum product markets and to inform EIA's own analyses of those markets. The information provided in this first study will be especially valuable during periods of petroleum supply disruption and market change.

Principal contributor: T. Mason Hamilton