The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) last week published a recap of northeastern states mandating low sulfur heating oil along with implementation dates. EIA first detailed upcoming changes to heating oil sulfur content limits in 2010 but some changes have have occurred since then and this latest report reflects the changes.
Most notably, Massachusetts has established sulfur limits for heating oil in their Regional Haze State Implementation Plan, Pennsylvania has delayed some sulfur proposals and New Jersey has proposed a delay according to the EIA report. The Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve has been also been replaced by ULSD.
The report also notes that the Northeast is the largest regional consumer of heating oil in the United States; but has been in declining due to conversions to other fuels and conservation efforts.
Noting that in 2011 Northeast refineries supplied about 61% of ULSD consumed in the Northeast, the report says 28% came from other regions and the remainder imported. The origin of additional supplies to meet the new demand remains an open question according to the report.
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