Alltop, all the top stories
November 26, 2008

Oil Drops


News on the economy, housing, consumer sentiment is all bad. Severe recession coming??? Consumers & businesses have cut spending on energy.

Oil dropped $3.57 to $50.35/barrel. As for the impact on you personally:

Gasoline prices nationwide continued to decline, falling 2.3 cents overnight to US$1.885 (49 cents a liter), their lowest levels since September 2004 when the average price for three days was US$1.886, according to auto club AAA, the Oil Price Information Service and Wright Express. The current price is US$1.20 below where it was a year ago and down US$2.225 from the peak in July when prices hit US$4.11 per gallon (US$1.08 a liter).

This would be good news, except for the really bad news baggage.

Filed under:Fuel cost,Fuel Price Trends,Gas price | by Pump Girl @ 10:47 am | 

November 24, 2008

How Well Can You Guess?


Crude oil prices hit a free fall, declining nearly $100/barrel in a few months. Some see the upward spike as a “bubble” and the current price as evidence of a decline in demand. Others see a market that makes wild and excessive swings in both directions. There is already a rebound.

Which do you believe? Do you have any confidence in your opinion?

Here at Pumps we see the current decline as a gift to stressed-out fleet managers and their companies. Unless you really believe that oil prices can go a lot lower, it is time to think about locking in current levels.

Will crude oil prices double? We do not know for sure, and neither does anyone else. Having said this, the table seems tilted, suggesting that it is time to act…..

Filed under:Ask Jeff,Fuel Price Hedging,Fuel Price Trends | by OldProf @ 10:32 pm | 

November 21, 2008

Prepackaged Auto Bankruptcy?


The Obama transition team is said to be exploring a prepackaged bankruptcy for automakers as a solution to their crisis situation.

The vote in Congress is now delayed until Dec. 8. GM is saving $$ by idling four plants an extra week, and returning some corporate jets.

“It [judge-supervised bankruptcy] creates the environment to deal with GM’s problems but limits government financial commitment,” said bankruptcy lawyer Mark Bane of Ropes & Gray in New York.

Here’s what it’s all about

In a prepackaged bankruptcy, an automaker would go into court with financing in hand after reaching agreement with lenders, workers and suppliers on what each would give up and on the business plan to be followed. The process might take six to 12 months, compared with two to five years if the automakers followed an ordinary Chapter 11 proceeding and worked out agreements under a judge’s supervision, Bane said.

It would probably have to be government financing.

Apparently the Big Three don’t like the prepack idea, but if they think Hank Paulsen is going to part with any TARP money to bail them out, they should think again.

Filed under:Fumes,Presidential Election,Vehicle News | by Pump Girl @ 6:56 pm | 

Pelosi Says Congress Won’t Let Auto Makers Down


But…car companies will have to demonstrate they can survive (ideally thrive) in the marketplace.

Looks like they will have to call a meeting of all parties involved, get out the PowerPoint, and come up with a viable plan.

But while pledging “unequivocal” support for the companies and their workers, Ms. Pelosi said that “for the last generation,” Detroit executives had been making management decisions that put them in the dire straits they find themselves today — forced to come to Congress to plead for $25 billion in immediate aid, without which, the executives said, one or more of the storied companies could go bankrupt.

Not everybody in congress is on board, though.

Some legislators, notably Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, have been adament in refusing to toss a life-preserver to the car makers, on the ground that the companies’ troubles are largely of their own making, and that letting them have billions in federal loans would be throwing good money after bad and just delaying the inevitable.

What good is that $25 billion already approved to help with re-tooling for fuel-efficiency, if there is nothing to retool?

Filed under:Vehicle News | by Pump Girl @ 6:38 pm | 

November 18, 2008

1/2-price Gas for Christmas


Middle-aged Tom Kloza (birthday coming soon & we think he is our age – not as old as dirt, but moving in that direction) points out that the average price of gas should be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.15/gal soon, half the price of a gallon in July.

Good for consumers, but who are the losers ( besides the refiners, of course)? Kloza considers the bankers, like Amex for example. Charge, baby, charge!

As for more to come:

The folly of putting a price on what it takes for companies to bring a barrel of crude to market has been illustrated many times in the last few months. The “average” price of one of the 87-million barrels per day of crude that get processed by refiners is a mystery. It can vary from a few dollars per barrel for older mature and incredibly successful fields to something closer to $60-$70 bbl in the tar sands or other harsh and brutal landscapes.

- There are many very capable and dedicated people at the Energy Information Administration (EIA). But EIA forecast an average 2009 crude price of $126 bbl last June, and then revised it lower to $112 bbl a month or so ago. This week, they revised it lower to $63 bbl. There is futility in issuing a long term forecast on something that is mostly dependent on human behavior. Be happy that EIA’s precision instruments are not being used to put siding on your house.

Looks like lower.

Filed under:Fuel cost,Fuel Price Trends,Gas price | by Pump Girl @ 9:15 pm |