Surging sulfur credit prices

The price of Tier 3 sulfur credits has quadrupled in recent months as refiners scramble to balance the books on their obligation to meet the 10 ppm gasoline sulfur mandate on gasoline sold in the U.S. in 2022.

Some refiners are making last-minute adjustments to reduce their gasoline sulfur in the 4th quarter — these adjustments destroy octane which causes lower gasoline production, lower fuel margin capture and other consequences spelled out in Gasoline Desulfurization for Tier 3 Compliance and Hoekstra Research Report 8.

In May, we organized a sulfur credit trade for $2 million of credits that would immediately save the buying refinery $16 million in octane losses. Today those credits would cost $8 million — still a great tradeoff for refineries who have a firm grip on their octane/sulfur economics and a budgetary system that allows such trades.


Every refining executive should have a comprehensive understanding of the technical, regulatory, and economic aspects of Tier 3 gasoline, the sulfur credit program and how they affect your business. Those wanting a quick education on the Tier 3 issue should get the short book, Gasoline Desulfurization for Tier 3 Compliance, which will make you an expert in a day. Once you have become expertly informed of the problem, you can save your team years of research by buying Hoekstra Research Report 8. We saw this problem coming, gathered the required data, ran the simulations and analyzed the results so you and your team can immediately initiate well-informed strategies. The report includes detailed pilot plant and commercial field test data, full detail of sulfur credit pricing, spreadsheet models to help improve gasoline optimization, investment decisions, sulfur credit strategy and refining margin capture in the Tier 3 world.

Don’t get caught panic buying after the credits spike.

George Hoekstra

+1 630 330-8159

Hoekstra Trading LLC