1982-02-01

U. S. Automotive Fuels — 1982 Shapes a New Outlook 821251

Automotive fuels are reviewed from the perspective of the declining petroleum demand and prices of I982. For the next 20 years, petroleum will remain the predominant source of automotive fuels worldwide; U.S. petroleum imports and their vulnerability to interruptions will be lower than in the late 1970's. The U.S. production of natural gas may exceed that of petroleum and will be supplemented by relatively secure imports.
Barring major disruptions in the Middle East, or a strong OPEC, the rate of U.S. petroleum price increases will match or slightly exceed that of inflation. Consequently, in the near future fuels from coal, oil shale or biomass will be unattractive for private investment in the U.S. under [illegible]ree-market economics.
This pessimistic forecast may not apply to methanol because of the high efficiency of methanol engines and the potential for lower methanol costs. However, coordination of methanol and methanol-vehicle production and distribution rates are problems.

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