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Renewable Fuel Standard Program

Sulfur Averaging, Banking, and Trading (ABT) Credit Data

Data are current as of June 10, 2019.

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Overview of Fuels ABT Program

EPA created two separate ABT programs specific to sulfur and benzene under the federal gasoline regulations. Gasoline refiners and importers may generate compliance credits for use or trading based on requirements and standards described in 40 CFR part 80. This allows refiners to meet requirements by producing gasoline that meets the specifications or by trading credits for use with other refiners, so that collectively the sulfur and benzene standards are satisfied.

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Sulfur ABT Credit Status by Averaging Year

The refinery or importer annual average gasoline sulfur standard is the maximum average sulfur level allowed for gasoline produced at a refinery or imported by an importer during each calendar year starting January 1, 2005. Refiners and importers may meet the standard by using banked credits from other refineries or importers. Refineries or importers who are above the standard threshold and fail to use enough credits for compliance create a sulfur credit deficit. A credit deficit can be carried forward up to one compliance period.

The gasoline sulfur standard for refiners and importers, excluding gasoline produced by small refiners subject to the standards at §80.240, and gasoline designated as GPA gasoline under §80.219(a), is 30 parts per million (ppm) through 2016. EPA finalized a rulemaking in 2014 (commonly referred to as "Tier 3") that updated the average levels of sulfur from 30 ppm to 10 ppm. This updated standard first applies to refiners and importers starting with the 2017 compliance period. 

The table below shows the volume weighted averages (VWA) and total gasoline volumes before any sulfur credits are applied for refined and imported gasoline that was above, below or equal to the sulfur standard threshold by compliance year. The total gasoline volumes and VWA are derived from refinery and importer reported values on the Sulfur Annual Compliance report (GSF0301).

Table 1: Volume weighted sulfur averages (VWA) and gasoline volumes for refined and imported gasoline that was above, below or equal to the sulfur standard by compliance year*
Compliance
Year
Above Standard

Sulfur VWA/Gasoline Volume (gallons)
Below Standard

Sulfur VWA/Gasoline Volume (gallons)
Equal Standard

Sulfur VWA/Gasoline Volume (gallons)
Overall 

Sulfur VWA/Gasoline Volume (gallons)
2011 40.33 61,242,696,971 21.27 53,383,725,493 30.00 14,439,965 31.45 114,640,862,429
2012 40.76 57,070,791,246 20.85 57,959,176,896 30.00 15,538,992 30.73 115,045,507,134
2013 39.41 47,297,601,672 21.36 67,377,135,298 30.00 39,746,476 28.79 114,714,483,446
2014 38.13 47,841,073,575 18.54 68,286,873,728 30.00 9,958,357 26.60 116,137,905,660
2015 39.47 37,523,821,891 17.66 81,887,888,060 30.00 3,338,522 24.51 119,415,048,473
2016 39.99 23,558,852,069 19.99 98,707,335,706 30.00 4,767,256 23.85 122,270,955,031
2017 23.7 103,970,945,201 6.38 15,939,731,088 10.0 2,460,555,800 21.19 122,371,232,089
2018 23.2 102,685,430,075 6.79 20,165,372,947 10.0 3,769,204 20.51 122,854,572,226

*Tier 2 sulfur standard: 30 ppm, Tier 3 sulfur standard: 10 ppm

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Gasoline Sulfur Credits Generated

Gasoline refineries and importers may generate sulfur credits when their actual annual average sulfur level is less than 30 ppm through 2016. The calculation below describes how sulfur credits are generated. Sulfur credit units are in ppm-gallons. The Net Credits Generated column shows the total number of credits generated minus the number of invalid credits generated. Credit Generation Error Corrections are defined as credits that have been retired in EMTS using any of the two retirement reason codes of 'Invalid Credit' or 'Volume Error Correction'.

gasoline Sulfur Credits formular

Table 2: Gasoline Sulfur Credits generated in EPA’s Moderated Transaction System (EMTS)
Averaging Year Domestic Refiner Importer Total Credits Credit Generation
Error Corrections*
Net Credits Generated
2015 960,077,224,272 66,311,055,041 1,026,388,279,313 25,048,895,799 1,001,339,383,514
2016 961,288,706,322 67,700,451,443 1,028,989,157,765 52,913,873,429 976,075,284,336
2017 55,156,358,465 1,962,558,748 57,118,917,213 2,681,468,736 54,437,448,477
2018 59,502,663,313 2,286,908,199 61,789,571,512 424,304,325 61,365,267,187

* data from Table 6

Table 3: Gasoline Transitional Sulfur Credits generated in EPA’s Moderated Transaction System (EMTS) by Small Volume Refineries and Small Refiners
Averaging Year Small Refiner Credit Generation
Error Corrections*
Net Credits Generated
2017 109,930,624,735 13,324,063,559 96,606,561,176
2018 103,504,442,913 4,424,465,836 99,079,977,077

* data from Table 7

Gasoline Sulfur Credits Retired

Gasoline refineries and importers may retire sulfur credits when their actual annual average sulfur level is greater than 30 ppm through 2016. Obtaining and retiring credits for compliance allows companies to meet the annual sulfur standard. Typically, refiners and importers can retire credits for compliance created within the last five averaging periods.

Table 4: Gasoline Sulfur Credits retired for compliance in EPA’s Moderated Transaction System (EMTS) by Domestic Refineries
Credit Year Compliance Yr 2015 Compliance Yr 2016 Compliance Yr 2017 Compliance Yr 2018 TOTAL
2010 288,609,829,211 - - - 288,609,829,211
2011 36,260,604,503 212,867,645,234 - - 249,128,249,737
2012 8,424,268,908 7,363,253,500 414,322,266,462 - 430,109,788,870
2013 4,137,018,578 1,219,223,589 423,958,107,132 106,728,675,914 536,043,025,213
2014 2,625,447,629 525,959,261 239,531,060,925 409,006,056,706 651,688,524,521
2015 2,605,121,231 833,844,989 86,810,782,560 479,038,073,999 569,287,822,779
2016 - 244,862,487 50,544,660,265 188,721,384,602 239,510,907,354
2017 - - - 3,368,944 3,368,944
2018 - - - - -
TOTAL 342,662,290,060 223,054,789,060 1,215,166,877,344 1,183,497,560,165 2,964,381,516,629

Table 5: Gasoline Sulfur Credits retired for compliance in EPA’s Moderated Transaction System (EMTS) by Importers
Credit Year Compliance Yr 2015 Compliance Yr 2016 Compliance Yr 2017 Compliance Yr 2018 TOTAL
2010 5,798,177,745   - - - 5,798,177,745
2011 2,226,453,150 2,618,414,871 - - 4,844,868,021
2012 66,910,887 42,136,029 14,246,011,613 - 14,355,058,529
2013 91,704,075 3,197,208 14,538,828,886 2,423,275,454 17,057,005,623
2014 996,152 345,532 8,141,886,038 19,745,114,158 27,888,341,880
2015 483,623 21,104,220 111,534,727 14,160,277,494 14,293,400,064
2016 - - 2,185,511,916 1,925,097,639 4,110,609,555
2017 - - - - -
2018 - - - - -
TOTAL 8,184,725,632 2,685,197,860 39,223,773,180 38,253,764,745 88,347,461,417

Gasoline refineries and importers may also retire sulfur credits for other reasons not directly related to complying with the annual standard, including for volume error corrections.
 

Table 6. Total retired gasoline sulfur credits for averaging periods 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Retire Reason Credit Created in 2015 Credit Created in 2016 Credit Created in 2017 Credit Created in 2018
Invalid Credit 1,829,230,581 29,970,612 80,211,944 1,240,117
Remedial Action – Retire for Compliance 24,982,999,974 440,300,492 - -
Volume Error Correction 23,219,665,218 52,883,902,817 2,601,256,792 423,064,208
Demonstrate Annual Compliance 583,581,222,843 243,621,516,909 3,368,944 -
Enforcement Obligation - 1,742,717,902 - -

Table 7. Total retired gasoline transitional sulfur credits for averaging periods 2017 and 2018.
Retire Reason Credit Created in 2017 Credit Created in 2018
Invalid Credit - 457,477,580
Remedial Action – Retire for Compliance - -
Volume Error Correction 13,324,063,559 3,966,988,256
Demonstrate Annual Compliance 10,982,289,924 536,532,054

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