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March 12, 2010

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another

 

Just as you probably suspected, there is more than one reason behind the rise in oil prices. There seems to be more than an ample supply in the US, but never mind that.

Consider:

Unrest in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer.

Improving US economy

Positive economic signs in China, the world’s 2nd biggest oil consumer, equals more fuel demand.

Are prices going up? Looks that way.

…major groups like IEA and EIA have projected strong demand for oil in the near future. According to Barclays oil prices were likely to rise to $80-$90 range. Quoting data from Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI), which said that the Asian demand for oil was increasing by more than 2 million barrels per day, Barclays analysts Paul Horsnell said, “If Asian demand can grow at such rapid rates when prices are in the $70 to $80 range, then prices cannot stay in that range for much longer”.

OPEC is not changing output quotas at the moment. No help in sight there either.

Filed under:Energy,Fuel cost,Fuel Price Trends,Gas price | by Pump Girl @ 12:21 pm | 

March 9, 2010

Inchworm

 

While we drivers do not like the direction gas prices are taking one bit (that would be inching up), investors in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for gas and oil are seeing opportunity knocking.

Gas is up a nickel a gallon, and $3/gal is the target many experts are pointing to. Oil prices are up to $82/barrel. Tension in Nigeria. China still building up its reserves.

Check out the charts in the article.

It all looks like a classic case of buy low, sell high to us. Might be a good time to get some protection for your fuel budget.

March 4, 2010

$7 Gas. Is It Coming Soon?

 

A group of bright boys in the back room (Harvard researchers) see that in order to meet Obama administration targets for increasing fuel taxes, Americans will have to pay something like $7/gal for gas.

We guess that should meet their fuel consumption reduction goals.

Filed under:Fuel cost,Fuel Price Trends | by Pump Girl @ 6:21 pm | 

March 3, 2010

Oil Price Hangover?

 

Remember when $50/barrel was a hot topic? Geoff Styles,an educated student of the game looks back. Oil Price Hangover is his title, but describes his take on the subject so well I’m using it too.

Mr. Styles dug out a scenario he put together back in the olden days (6 yrs. ago) when oil was pushing the $50 mark, then a lifetime high.

…. Though it seems hard to credit now, at the time even that milestone seemed nearly unimaginable for the group of energy industry managers participating in the workshop I was leading. WTI had just broken through $40/bbl, which represented the highest nominal oil price any of us had seen in our careers, a record set in the lead-up to the first Gulf War. Although the prices in the early 1980s, after the Iranian Revolution, were higher on an inflation-adjusted basis, we had just lived through a couple of decades in which oil had notably failed to keep up with general inflation. Of course from our current vantage point $40 or $50 now seems cheap, and that’s precisely the point. …

He also points out how different things are from the 1st time oil jumped over the $80 mark.

…there was much talk of the risk premium on oil prices due to tensions with Iran, as well as the impact of a weakening US dollar. Most importantly, the global economy was still booming and OPEC was having trouble keeping up with growing demand, particularly from the developing economies of China and the Middle East oil producers themselves, along with the US at the tail end of the bubble. By contrast, despite expectations for a recovery in 2010, today’s oil market is dominated by weak demand, with average US demand for oil and its products in 2009 down by 10%, or 2 million barrels per day (MBD) from ’07. The global appetite for oil fell by 1.5% in 2009, with only Asia and the Middle East registering any growth. Inventories are ample, refineries are running at extremely low rates of utilization…

Mr. Styles has gathered much interesting info on the oil pricing universe and where it may go from here. You really must read the whole article. My synopsis does not do it justice.

Filed under:Fuel Price Trends,Gas price | by Pump Girl @ 6:30 pm | 

March 2, 2010

Circling $80

 

Oil has bounced between $70 and $80 for the last eight months, but did get over the $80 mark today, then back down to close at $79.86. That is close enough for us!

Everybody knows that Spring brings flowers, birds and higher gas prices.

Retail prices were flat today according to AAA auto club $2.703/ gallon, so fill your gas tank now, and ride your bicycle for the summer.

$3 gas (at least) is on its way.

Filed under:Fuel cost,Fuel Price Trends,Gas price | by Pump Girl @ 7:04 pm |