Well, you might say energy markets got smacked upside the head in 2022. After a decade of energy abundance, a meltdown in demand in 2020, and what looked like a budding recovery in 2021, energy security had devolved into a back-burner issue. After all, why worry about existing fuel sources when they would soon be replaced by waves of renewable and sustainable fuels? Then, literally overnight, the world changed on February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine. Prior assumptions about energy security were out the window. Suddenly, the availability, source of production and, of course, the price of traditional energy were front-and-center. In fact, those priorities swiftly overshadowed energy-transition goals. We could see that shift in focus every day at RBN by monitoring the website hit rate of our blogs to see which ones garnered the most interest. This year, all of the top blogs were in some way tied to energy security. So today we dive into our Top 10 blogs based on the number of rbnenergy.com website hits to see how energy security has permeated all aspects of energy markets.
One of the benefits of doing a daily blog covering a single topic and blasting it to 37,000 people is that we can discern big market trends by simply tracking how many people read the blog each day. Every year for over a decade we have looked back over the previous year to see which topics rank at the top of the hit parade and have done an end-of-year blog titled “Top 10” to distill common themes that we learn from what amounts to crowd-sourced market intelligence. This year the common theme was easy to spot: energy security. But the theme comes in a variety of flavors, depending on the market sectors involved. That’s what today’s blog can help illuminate.
Just like any year-end Top 10 list, we’ll start with #10 and work our way up to #1.
Here are the Top 10 blogs of 2022 (in reverse order, by number of website hits):
#10 – 6/26/22 – Refined Fuels: Already Gone - U.S. Refinery Shutdowns a Major Contributor to Refined Products Squeeze and High Prices
In June 2022, the average price of U.S. regular gasoline had soared to more than $5/gal, and the blame game was in full blitz mode. It was not just the Ukrainian invasion, loss of supply, and sanctions preventing supply from keeping up with demand. It was also the loss of significant U.S. refining capacity, which was limiting the ability of refiners to respond to strong, post-pandemic demand recovery. In this blog we examined the refineries that were totally shuttered, along with those that reduced capacity and the ones converting to renewable fuels, especially renewable diesel.
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