Shaping Fuel Quality and the Environment

Stratas Advisors

Fuel pumps

Two countries in the same region of the world recognized the growing importance of establishing regulatory policies that call for cleaner fuels. In particular, one country's state oil company needed guidance on how to shape fuel-quality standards while balancing the needs of future vehicles, refining capabilities and the environment. Similarly, the other country's environmental regulators and state oil company wanted to ensure that a plan to reverse a restriction on domestic use of the additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in gasoline would support their environmental goals and a refinery modernization program.

Both state oil companies had long-standing relationships with our advisors and recognized our qualifications and experience in fuel policy matters. Leveraging that expertise, we used data and projections from our Downstream and Fuel & Transportation services as the basis for both projects.

We developed a product-quality road map for one company, accompanied by training workshops to provide background on the importance of a unified, comprehensive approach to regulatory policy. We designed these workshops to help industry and government stakeholders evaluate and execute the road map while also addressing current realities. Working within the road map, we analyzed the country's transportation sector to assess on-road fleet emissions and efficiency, looking for ways to curb growth in energy demand and diversify the fuel mix to balance the domestic energy portfolio.

For the other company, we developed a comprehensive assessment of MTBE production, safe handling, transportation, storage and blending, with a focus on the nation's gasoline market. We also examined the public health and environmental benefits and potential risks of using MTBE, and compared them with alternative gasoline blendstocks such as ethanol. We implemented the project in two stages so we could incorporate the company's feedback before delivering final recommendations for MTBE use.

After we presented our assessment, one country reversed the restriction on MTBE, allowing its state oil company to proceed with its refinery modernization plan and incorporate our recommendations on MTBE use. As a result, the company is improving gasoline quality and providing more marketplace options for refined products.

In the other country, company and government officials worked together to set new specifications introducing cleaner fuels that required upgrades of existing refineries. The new specifications also improved tracking of the nation's vehicle fleet to better understand driving patterns and trends and to ensure fuel compatibility as the fleet evolves. Stratas Advisors continues to work with the state oil company to develop an online training platform designed to educate a diverse workforce about refining-related concepts and new techniques and processes.

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