If you aren't worried about oil shortages, particularly those
caused by Venezuela, perhaps you should be: They're beginning to
drastically affect the roofing industry.
Manufacturers of asphalt-based roofing materials have been
warning their customers about potential price hikes if oil
shortages continue, and several manufacturers already have
increased prices. In addition, at least one manufacturer is
charging an energy surcharge for its asphalt-based materials. The
surcharge is subject to change with market conditions.
Unfortunately, there may not be a reprieve if the Venezuelan
government can't fix the country's labor problems.
The primary problem for the roofing industry is that the heavy
crude oil supplied by Venezuela accounts for a majority of the
roofing asphalt used in the United States. As a result of
Venezuela's labor crisis, no crude oil shipments have reached the
United States in more than a month (as of mid-March), and the crude
oil present in U.S. reserves is difficult and costly to convert to
asphalt. Even if imports were to resume, the roofing industry would
have to jockey for the fewer than 500,000 barrels of Venezuelan
heavy crude oil per day that also likely will be needed by the
paving industry. At its oil-production height, Venezuela was
producing nearly 3 million barrels of crude oil per day. (One
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