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February 27, 2008

Summer Gasoline Prices: $4/Gallon?


Opinion is split. The Department of Energy is looking for a peak of only $3.40, but futures prices and expert analysts see higher levels. J.W. Elphinstone of the AP writes:

Many analysts believe gas prices could climb to record highs between $3.75 and $4 a gallon this spring. The Energy Department’s latest forecast calls for gas prices to peak near $3.40 a gallon this spring.

Wholesale prices rose first, and now the retail prices have followed. In each of the last several years prices have started at a higher plateau before the summer driving and hurricane seasons. There is always cyclicality, and it is sometimes extreme.

Filed under:Fuel Price Trends | by OldProf @ 6:21 pm | 

February 25, 2008

Energy Notes


Here we go again! Trilby Lundbergs survey of 7,000 gas stations found that the average price of reg. gas at the pumps has risen $0.16/gal. over the last 2 weeks to $3.10/gal.

The world’s second biggest energy consumer, China of course, is facing a shortage of 6 billion tons of oil over the next few years, creating a bottleneck for the country’s development.

‘Twilight in the Desert’ by Matthew Simmons has more than 100,000 copies in print (also available in German, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese). It sure is looking like he is right about peak oil, doesn’t it?

What impact will the election on energy issues?

“No matter which candidate wins the presidency,” Dr. Craig Emmert, Asst. Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of TX of the Permian Basin, said, “it will be difficult to keep their campaign promises of energy independence, especially given our reliance on crude oil from the Middle East.”

Alan Greenspan said the boom in oil prices will “go on forever“.

Filed under:Energy,Fuel cost,Fuel Price Trends,Gas price | by Pump Girl @ 8:18 pm | 

Greenspan on Oil Prices


Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan says the increase in oil prices will “go on forever.”

Greenspan is not looking at short-term trading; he is focused on the fundamentals. He sees oil prices moving higher in spite of the slowing economy.

Douglas A. McIntyre at 24/7 Wall Street writes as follows:

Greenspan’s view of supply and demand in oil is sobering. For him to believe that oil prices will stay high he has to be forecasting that demand in emerging economies like India and China will not slow. His views may also indicate that he believes that the world supply of available oil has peaked.

Forever is a long time, especially if you own a car company or airline.

The number of drivers in China and India is still low — very low. The Greenspan viewpoint is anchored in long-term supply and demand.

Filed under:Fuel Price Trends | by OldProf @ 8:13 pm | 

February 20, 2008

Weaker Demand? Oil Prices Rise Anyway


There has been a lot of speculation a weakening economy would reduce demand for oil, leading to lower prices. Putting aside the question of whether the economy will rebound — a distinct possibility after the stimulus package and Fed rate cutes — prices do not seem to be responding to demand.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, “Weaking Demand? Oil Still Passes $100,” authors Neil King, Jr. and Ana Campoy cite several key factors supporting prices including speculation and political unrest in Nigeria and Venezuela. Others are concerned about refinery capacity and damage to existing facilities.

Finally, of course, there is OPEC. Whenever prices drop a bit, an OPEC production cut seems to be in prospect.

Filed under:Fuel Price Trends | by OldProf @ 8:15 pm | 

February 19, 2008

Green News


David Jackson of Seeking Alpha gives us Five Must-Read Articles in Oil and Alternative Energy, starting with oil going to $125/barrel.

Oil settles at over $100/barrel – 100.01. It’s gotten over $100 intra-day, but this is the first time at settlement. It’s a record!

The Suburu plant in Lafayette is putting a new meaning on going green (how much can you expect from an assembly plant, anyway?). They ship copper-laden slag to Spain for recycling, return protective styrofoam forms to Japan to reuse on the next round of deliveries, and even melt down those little plastic caps to be used for something else!

Will 4 billion cars be too many for the planet in 2050?

Let there be light!! But make it with those new spiral fluorescent bulbs. Just another puny way you can save the planet.

Filed under:Alternative Energy,Energy,Fuel cost,Fuel Price Trends,Gas price | by Pump Girl @ 11:25 pm |