Poor Refinery Capacity in Latin America is Good for the USA for Now

This is a response to an article by Keith Schafer which appeared in SeekingAlpha on December 23, 2011.
U.S. Poised To Retake Status As Net Oil Exporter
This is a great review and great news. However, I agree with ryanclarke that we are a net exporter of refined products. The primary driver of this has been Latin America’s rapid GDP growth and growing middle class combined with its overall poor refining infrastructure. Many of the smaller latin countries don’t have a single active refinery, and even those that do have a refinery network, namely, Brazil and Mexico, do not have sufficient refining capacity to meet their own demands let alone the demands of the entire LatAm region, and some of the smaller latin countries remain highly dependent on diesel for power generation. As a result, they are paying us to refine crude into gasoline for their cars and diesel that they burn to run their air conditioning which is needed year-round in the tropical regions.

Have you investigated plans to improve refining infrastructure in the region? For example, do you know if and when Pemex and Petrobras plan to build new refineries?

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