Overview of Aviation Fuel Markets for Biofuels Stakeholders.
Davidson, C.; Newes, E.; Schwab, A.; Vimmerstedt, L.
This report is for biofuels stakeholders interested the U.S. aviation fuel market. Jet fuel production represents about 10% of U.S. petroleum refinery production. Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and BP top producers, and Texas, Louisiana, and California are top producing states. Distribution of fuel primarily involves transport from the Gulf Coast to other regions. Fuel is transported via pipeline (60%), barges on inland waterways (30%), tanker truck (5%), and rail (5%). Airport fuel supply chain organization and fuel sourcing may involve oil companies, airlines, airline consortia, airport owners and operators, and airport service companies. Most fuel is used for domestic, commercial, civilian flights. Energy efficiency has substantially improved due to aircraft fleet upgrades and advanced flight logistic improvements. Jet fuel prices generally track prices of crude oil and other refined petroleum products, whose prices are more volatile than crude oil price. The single largest expense for airlines is jet fuel, so its prices and persistent price volatility impact industry finances. Airlines use various strategies to manage aviation fuel price uncertainty. The aviation industry has established goals to mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions, and initial estimates of biojet life cycle greenhouse gas emissions exist. Biojet fuels from Fischer-Tropsch and hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids processes have ASTM standards. The commercial aviation industry and the U.S. Department of Defense have used aviation biofuels. Additional research is needed to assess the environmental, economic, and financial potential of biojet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate long-term upward price trends, fuel price volatility, or both.