Gasoline began its career as a leftover waste product from the refining of crude oil to get kerosene for lamps. A hundred years ago, refiners still burned most gasoline just to get rid of it. Today, things really haven’t changed that much, except that we now have the perception that gasoline is something precious. In a barrel of sweet crude, the gasoline content is on average about 51%, and that‘s a lot of waste to get rid of every day.
Demand for gasoline has dropped sharply in the last few years to the point where we export 117,000,000 gallons of gasoline and other fuels every day. Actually, this was the 2011 average, the surplus is still going up. In dollar value, this is now our largest manufactured export.