Valero Energy Corporation says it should be able to cease the importation of non North American crude oil within the next couple of years.
Valero has seven Gulf Coast refineries that use a lot of light sweet crude oil that is currently being imported by ships from overseas.
"What we have projected is that with the amazing amount of production of domestic sweet crude here in the United States, especially from here in Texas with the Eagle Ford Shale, Valero's Gulf Coast refineries and other Gulf Coast refineries will be able to push out the imported sweet crude and will be completely using American-made light sweet crude oil probably by the end of 2013," said Valero spokesman Bill Day.
Valero is already starting to see this trend at its refinery in Three Rivers, and they predict their refinery in Houston will be using entirely American-made oil by the end of this year.
"This is a very positive development, not only in terms of weaning ourselves off of foreign crude oil, but for producers here in Texas. A lot of that oil that they're producing in the Eagle Ford Shale is going to stay at refineries in Texas and will be made into gasoline here," said Day.
The shift from majority imported oil to majority domestic oil use could very well effect the price us Texans pay at the pump.
"As more domestic oil is produced and is refined here in the United States that will help stabilize prices at the pump, so you won't see as big of fluctuations in oil prices. Domestic oil is not as susceptible to fluctuations due to geopolitical events for instance. It's not susceptible to storms or hurricanes, because it's produced on shore and sent by pipelines, rather than off shore and sent by ships," says Day.
Valero would still continue to import heavier oils from Canada via the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Day says Valero is a big supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline, because "oil from Canada would be priced at an even lower price than the light sweet crude oil produced here in Texas, and we don't want to limit ourselves to just one kind of oil."