Oil Price Nearing Danger Zone for Weaker Gasoline Demand

(Bloomberg) -- As gasoline pump prices near an average of $3 a gallon across the U.S., Americans have shown little restraint in their fuel purchases. But demand destruction could emerge if oil hits $80 a barrel, Valero Energy Corp. said Thursday on its first quarter earnings call.

Valero’s not worried about gasoline consumption, for now: Demand to drive trucks and SUVs is in tact, executives said, and the independent refiner opted to route gasoline and diesel to Florida instead of exporting it in the first quarter due to sweeter economics.

The internal combustion engines that Valero relies on to stay afloat could find longevity against competing electric vehicles if the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers’ call to transition the Renewable Fuel Standard to a 95-octane gasoline gets a nod from Congress.

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