Fuel Smarts

U.S. Diesel Demand to Decline After 2015

October 29, 2014

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Photo via Fuels Institute. 
Photo via Fuels Institute.

Domestic diesel demand will peak in 2015 and decline by as much as 12.5% by 2030, according to a new forecast by energy market research firm PIRA Energy Group. The 32-page report was commissioned by the Fuels Institute and funded by the NATSO Foundation to analyze domestic diesel fuel use in U.S. and global markets.

The report predicts that diesel demand will peak in 2015 at 4 million barrels per day and decline to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2030.

The downward trend is being attributed to an increase in vehicle efficiency in the U.S. as well as growing adoption of natural gas among heavy duty trucks. While the report predicts a U.S. diesel peak in 2015, global diesel demand will continue to increase due to industrialization in emerging markets and its increased use as a global shipping fuel.

“Changing consumer demand for diesel fuel will have a significant effect on fuel retailers and the U.S. economy,” said Lisa Mullings, president of NATSO. “This report will help truckstops and travel plazas develop a sound strategy for optimizing these market changes.”

In light-duty vehicles, diesel use is expected to triple in the U.S. by 2030 but it will be offset by the decline in heavy-duty use and by hybrid, electric and alternative fuel powertrains. With the decrease in domestic diesel demand, the U.S. is poised to expand its role as an exporter of the fuel as worldwide demand continues to grow, the report found.

“The U.S. is very well positioned to supply its own domestic fuel needs while also playing a growing role as a global product exporter,” said John Eichberger, Fuels Institute executive director. “This is good news for fuel consumers as it indicates this shift in consumption patterns should not create economic imbalances.”

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