Thread: Gas Gas Gas

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    Or maybe a lack of it? Around the region, I saw gas as high as 2.97/gal last night. And as low as 2.67 a few miles later. Go figure eh?

    Gas Prices Soar, Could Get Even Higher This Summer. AAA Wants Oil Companies Held Accountable

    POSTED: 6:40 pm EDT April 10, 2006
    UPDATED: 7:24 pm EDT April 10, 2006

    WASHINGTON -- Gas prices are continuing to soar around the country and in this region, and experts say that with summer approaching, the prices could get a lot higher.

    Since March 1, gas prices have jumped nearly 50 cents a gallon, according to AAA.

    Nationally, regular unleaded gas is averaging $2.68 a gallon. In the District, the average gallon of gas is $2.85. In Maryland, that average is $2.71. In Virginia, it's $2.66 a gallon.

    AAA is now demanding accountability from oil companies, and some public services are facing the prospect of cutting their spending.

    John Townsend said there are few reasons he can point to, political or economic, that explain the latest prices. He said there's at least one explananation most consumers hate to hear.

    "I think the thing behind all of this is a profit motive," Townsend said.

    James Gorby is the fleet manager for Fairfax County -- the biggest municipal fleet in the region. He said these prices means millions more in unforeseen costs.

    "The money has to come from somewhere, and something else that might be done is not able to be done because you have to pay for fuel," he said.

    "We have to stop this before the summer gets here, otherwise we can kiss goodbye to our vacations," said Mike Savina.

    AAA officials said they haven't seen price increases like this since the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s.

    Copyright 2006 by nbc4.com.
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    BLAME CANADA!

    Crude Oil Imports (Top 15 Countries)
    (Thousand Barrels per Day)


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CANADA 1,768
    MEXICO 1,701
    SAUDI ARABIA 1,335
    VENEZUELA 1,228
    NIGERIA 1,133
    IRAQ 532
    ANGOLA 420
    ECUADOR 373
    ALGERIA 235
    COLOMBIA 169
    TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 96
    EQUATORIAL GUINEA 86
    CHAD 74
    KUWAIT 73
    NORWAY 67

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    Default Whoa

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    I will blame the EPA and the states. Every freaking state has to have its own formulation of gasoline additives that adds to the costs but have very little scientific data supporting their use.

    Oh yeah, let us not forget that profits come ahead of everything. The new EPA additives this year apparently account for a 25 cents or more of gas increased through the summer, yet supply has been the same, output has been the same, and there is only one more place for the money increases to go.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by E229Lt
    BLAME CANADA!

    Crude Oil Imports (Top 15 Countries)
    (Thousand Barrels per Day)


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CANADA 1,768
    MEXICO 1,701
    SAUDI ARABIA 1,335
    VENEZUELA 1,228
    NIGERIA 1,133
    IRAQ 532
    ANGOLA 420
    ECUADOR 373
    ALGERIA 235
    COLOMBIA 169
    TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 96
    EQUATORIAL GUINEA 86
    CHAD 74
    KUWAIT 73
    NORWAY 67
    Not quite sure what you're after on this one. I have no doubt at all that gas back home is still near (or more) the $0.90 per Litre mark, which works out to about $0.78USD per 0.26 USgal or $3.12/gal USD. Then there was this...

    January 2006 Import Highlights: Released on March 28, 2006
    Monthly data on the origins of crude oil imports in January 2006 has been released and it shows that two countries have exported more than 1.7 million barrels per day to the United States. Including those countries, a total of five countries exported over 1.1 million barrels per day of crude oil to the United States (see table below). The top sources of US crude oil imports for January were Canada (1.768 million barrels per day), Mexico (1.701 million barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (1.335 million barrels per day), Venezuela (1.228 million barrels per day), and Nigeria (1.133 million barrels per day). The rest of the top ten sources, in order, were Iraq (0.532 million barrels per day), Angola (0.420 million barrels per day), Ecuador (0.373 million barrels per day), Algeria (0.235 million barrels per day), and Colombia (0.169 million barrels per day). Total crude oil imports averaged 9.713 million barrels per day in January, which is a decrease of 0.275 million barrels per day from December 2005. The top five exporting countries accounted for 74 percent of United States crude oil imports in January and the top ten sources accounted for approximately 92 percent of all U.S. crude oil imports.

    Canada was the largest exporter of total petroleum products again this month averaging 2.311 million barrels per day to the United States which is a decrease from last month (2.523 million barrels per day). The second largest exporter of total petroleum products so far this year was Mexico (1.796 million barrels per day) which exported almost the same amount to the United States as last month. Algeria had a substantial increase in exports (0.308 million barrels per day of total petroleum products when compared to last months numbers) to the U.S. in January.


    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/p...nt/import.html
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    I'm pretty bitter, as are most Americans, about this whole thing. Last year in fact, I cancelled a vacation (driving) to the Outer Banks of NC due to the high prices. This year, I planned an extended Memorial Day Weekend down there, in anticipation of latter-summer gas prices. Now it looks like I will be dealing with $3.00+ by Memorial Day THIS year! (Come hell or high water though, I am going, even if the wife has to get out and push.)

    Additionally, this puts a cramp in my hobby- my antique FWD pumper now has to sit in the garage yet again ANOTHER summer. At 4-5 MPG, who can afford that? It costs me 10 bucks just to hit the starter button! No more parades, musters, and car shows unless they are within a short distance away. So as of now I have a 29,000 pound 25 foot long paperweight sitting in the garage. Maybe I'll just pull it out into the yard and plant flowers in it.

    Here's what I want to know......Keep in mind, I am not the most politically-educated person in the world. I am not a republican nor a democrat. Call me "Middle of the road." I am convinced that there is a conspiracy between the oil companies and Dubya, and until someone can give me solid evidence that there is NOT, I will continue to believe it. And that works the same way for me- I cant give evidence that there IS a conspiracy, but I have this to offer:

    1. Oil companies are crying "supply and demand." Oil is in demand, the supply is limited, therefore increasing prices. Oil companies are crying that the crude is now costing more. OK, I am game with that, it's basic economics.

    2. Last year, Oil Companies claimed record profits. WTF???? If the oil costs more, shouldnt that eat your profits? You are paying more for the crude!!!????? This again, is basic economics!

    I have a friend who is a carpenter. Back when lumber was real expensive due to the war, he had to adjust his prices when making estimates- pay more for the lumber, charge the customer more to make up for the loss- and still making the same amount profit what you would have made before the price increases......Basic economics.

    Can someone tell me, in plain english, without a bunch of political hogwash, why we are facing this crisis? Can you convince me beyond a reasonable doubt, that there is no conspiracy?

    You cant tell me that the Texas Oil Lobbyists arent in the oval office, whispering sweet nothings in Dubyas ears....!!!???
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff
    Can someone tell me, in plain english, without a bunch of political hogwash, why we are facing this crisis? Can you convince me beyond a reasonable doubt, that there is no conspiracy?
    Part of the price increase is due to rapidly growing economies in Southern Asia, specifically China and India. Their explosive growth is consuming huge amounts of the world's oil. It is also responsible for a huge increase in cement prices a couple years ago due to their construction.

    It doesn't explain it all, but it is part of the cost.
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    The guest oil industry analyist on todays (04-12-06) Good Morning America show said that a large part of the high prices is because oil futures are now the "darling" of commodity traders and speculators. Oil is currently trading at twelve times the cost of production when it normally trades at three to four times the cost of production. It will probably rise some more over the next month or so due to the refinery change over to summer blends and maintenance.

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    Last edited by Rayr49; 04-12-2006 at 05:26 PM.

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    As Sharkie said, part of the price increase can be attributed to worldwide demand. Another portion of the blame lies in the mishmash of formulas that must be produced to meet varying air quality requirements around the country. They reduce refining efficiency and increase cost.

    Finally, the biggest blame can be attributed to just plain greed that extends all the way from the drill platform to the retail pump. The record profits major oil companies are making are only the first step. Distributors and retailers are also getting their cuts too.

    There's a consipracy, but it isn't at the national level. The game started late in the Clinton presidency and has continued ever since. Those increases set up the pieces for the recession finally triggered by 9/11. What's happening now is that anytime there's a national or international incident, prices are extraordinarily inflated. The event passes and prices are reduced but still higher than before the event. We then celebrate, but the petrol industry celebrates too because the starting point for the next surge has been set a little higher. Here the retail level example: Joe's sellling gas at a 10 cent per gallon profit today at a cost to the consumer of, say $2.25 a gallon. A hurricane hits and drives Joe's cost up 50 cents, to a total price at the pump of $2.75. Everybody is mad. Two weeks later, the supply disruption is restored and Joe's prices fall back to pre-disaster level but Joe only drops his price to $2.35. After only a few bumps, Joe's moved his 10 cent per gallon profit margin to 50 cents. This is happening all along the supply chain, with each level shifting the blame to the higher level but all sharing culpability.

    It is step therapy for the lemmings (us). Just increase the dosage until the subject has a reaction, back off until they adjust, and then increase the dosage again.

    Further complicating the issue, the entire industry is genuinely difficult to understand. Just in retail you have independent operators that buy from distributors and set their own pump prices, distributor owned retail locations where the central office sets the pump price, retail locations that sell on a fixed per-gallon commission for a distributor, and other combinations that further complicate the picture. To you and me, it is just a Chevron, Citgo, or the Stop-n-Rob. Often times, even the folks working at the store don't have a clue how they're supplied or who is really responsible for determining prices.

    I don't have a solution. Part of my gut cries out for the biggest RICO case in history, but that would take decades. We need more companies. Industry consolidation has created a near monopoly, which means normal market rules don't apply because there's little real competition. There also needs to be a simple way to limit the situation I described above - maybe a federal price-gouging statue with real teeth.

    Congress better find a solution soon. Right now, our economy is growing in spite of fuel costs, but that will not last forever. Until they're down to a reasonable level we are only one major disaster away from another recession.

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    *The game started late in the Clinton presidency and has continued ever since.*

    When does the Bush Administration take some of the blame for the rising prices of fuel. A more preplexing question is when do we stop blaming Clinton ( he has been out of office for 6 years). When does GWB take the blame for anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ltmdepas3280
    *The game started late in the Clinton presidency and has continued ever since.*

    When does the Bush Administration take some of the blame for the rising prices of fuel. A more preplexing question is when do we stop blaming Clinton ( he has been out of office for 6 years). When does GWB take the blame for anything.
    You misunderstood that part of my post. I voted for GWB both times, but his administration's inaction on this issue is inexcusable. The problem started during the last year or so of Clinton's administration but IMHO there was no way to either recognize how long the trend would contine or effectively do anything about it. He was a lame duck and everyone's attention was focused on other things like the election. My intention wasn't to blame Clinton, only to place the continual upward price spiral in historical perspective.

    I also left out a couple of other points in my long-winded post. The first is that it critical that governments someway, somehow stop the trading of crude oil as a commodity. The mere rumor of trouble in the mideast, a hurricane in the gulf, or the president tripping down the stairs is prone to trigger huge, immediate increases in the cost of gasoline. You don't see the grocery marking milk up because a line of tornados just hit Wisconsin and you shouldn't see it with fuel. Changing the way oil is bought and sold is; however, probably a pipe dream. If; however, it could be done I truly feel prices would rapidly drop and stabilize.

    There is another valid reason for slightly higher fuel prices. The fuel additive MTBE is being phased out and replaced with ethanol. Unfortunately, MTBE was cheaper and ethanol production is having trouble keeping up with demand.

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    Just wondering if when the cheapest grade of gas is over 3 bucks, does anyone actually buy the 89 or 92? Why don't all of the companies just concentrate on making one grade of cheap gas and eliminate some of the refining?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfdeng3
    Just wondering if when the cheapest grade of gas is over 3 bucks, does anyone actually buy the 89 or 92? Why don't all of the companies just concentrate on making one grade of cheap gas and eliminate some of the refining?
    Some vehicles really do require the higher octanes. My old boat had a Yamaha 150, which called for 89 octane or higher and my Vespa-style scooter uses 91 or higher.* Both run very poorly on lower-rated gasoline.

    Some performance cars also call for higher octanes. What I don't understand is why someone with a newer vehicle designed for 87 runs the more expensive stuff. The car doesn't run better but you sure pay more.

    *Yes, I said scooter. No Harley, no Ninja, a 150cc engined European-styled scooter. I ride it and like it. Man, I feel so much better now that I'm out of the closet ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by EFD840
    Some vehicles really do require the higher octanes. My old boat had a Yamaha 150, which called for 89 octane or higher and my Vespa-style scooter uses 91 or higher.* Both run very poorly on lower-rated gasoline.

    Some performance cars also call for higher octanes. What I don't understand is why someone with a newer vehicle designed for 87 runs the more expensive stuff. The car doesn't run better but you sure pay more.

    *Yes, I said scooter. No Harley, no Ninja, a 150cc engined European-styled scooter. I ride it and like it. Man, I feel so much better now that I'm out of the closet ...
    It's because people don't understand Octane ratings... they see a higher number and figure it's better! At this altitude (5500 feet) there really is no reason to run anything but regular (85 here) unless you're running a supercharger because predetonation is such a rarity! But they sure sell a lot of premium grade to suckers!

    We can't really complain too much about gas prices here... they're far worse over seas. The difference is we've been spoiled with low prices for so long and we're so dependant on our private vehicles that we can't fathom what we'd do if we had to pay $5 a gallon. That being said, oil dollars do pay my salary!

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    I don't think that this is any more complicated than the fact that oil companies are going to charge whatever people will pay to fill up. It's that simple. When you start seeing more Civics and less Suburbans and Expeditions on the road, the $$$ will fall.

    Maybe I'm wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7
    Not quite sure what you're after on this one. I have no doubt at all that gas back home is still near (or more) the $0.90 per Litre mark, which works out to about $0.78USD per 0.26 USgal or $3.12/gal USD. Then there was this...
    You're a bit off, it was actually sitting around 93cents, shockingly, (shocking that it actually dropped that low after being gouged and screwed for so long) for a month or two. Then about 2 weeks ago (I think, time flies when you're having fun, right?) it jumped from 93 to 98 and then 1.019 and then 1.109 ... just like that, up more than 15 cents in a matter of days.
    Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 04-12-2006 at 04:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfdeng3
    Just wondering if when the cheapest grade of gas is over 3 bucks, does anyone actually buy the 89 or 92? Why don't all of the companies just concentrate on making one grade of cheap gas and eliminate some of the refining?
    We run two tankers with big block gassers, that won't run worth a squat on 89, and i've also heard that some of the high mileage toyotas require 93.

    I'm not going to complain about high gas for my POV, but the Freightliner i drive, making 6 miles to the gallon, downhill with a tailwind - that puts a hurting in the pocket. I can run up a $185 bill for one tankfull, using a tank a day sometimes. You can't exactly park the semis and expect the world to move on.
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    Thanks Sher. I havent been back to Canada since Feb, and in Ottawa it was around 90/L in most places, but towards Pembroke it moved into the mid 90's depending on the station - as always.
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    Ok, some of you have pretty good arguments regarding worldwide supply & demand.....But one thing no one has touched on yet.......Why are the oil companies still claiming record profits? Once again, I kinda thought that the more you paid for raw (crude) materials, the less in profit you made?

    Also, someone stated that the problem started with the Clinton presidency. I agree with this. I also agree that Bush has not done enough to control this. In fact, I feel betrayed by the United States Government over their handling (or lack thereof) of the oil prices.
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    My question is, and I see it happen almost everyday at the gas station right across from my work, they will change the price of low grade gas, 3 times in a 24 hour period!!!!! What gives??? How can they do that? I know people will say its because when they pay more for gas, they have to raise the price for the consumer, okay I understand that, but I KNOW they don't get 3 deliveries in a day of the higher priced gas!!!!!!!!

    I agree with the one who said that the prices will raise as high as people are willing to pay.

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    Its all about greed. The supply/demand, worldwide shortage, booming economy in China, all nothing more then a handy excuse. Record profits, thats all we need to know.

    Funny, but Im sure you all recall how when the prices were up last fall, congress called the oil companies on the carpet? What happened? Yes, the prices dropped. They stayed down long enough for the congressional "heat" to dissapate and presto, the prices start inching back north.

    Hmmmmm....
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff
    Ok, some of you have pretty good arguments regarding worldwide supply & demand.....But one thing no one has touched on yet.......Why are the oil companies still claiming record profits? Once again, I kinda thought that the more you paid for raw (crude) materials, the less in profit you made?

    Also, someone stated that the problem started with the Clinton presidency. I agree with this. I also agree that Bush has not done enough to control this. In fact, I feel betrayed by the United States Government over their handling (or lack thereof) of the oil prices.

    Buff, I think you've got a right to feel betrayed. Congressional inaction on fuel costs is one of the best examples of bipartisanship I've ever seen. Neither party will take on the challenge. Sure, the dems will make a little racket every now and again about the current administration's ties to big oil but to steal a line from my younger days Where's the beef?. If I were guiding the Democratic party, high fuel costs would be my ticket back into control of the Congress. Who's getting hurt most? The middle class working guy who also happens to be the guy that votes and the guy that is keeping the house and senate under Republican control. I think deep down, liberal dems LIKE the high prices because it helps them push their environmental agenda and conservative dems (no jokes please, there are a few left) largely come from areas where the industry is big and therefore risk alienating their local support. The result is nobody does anything and prices keep climbing.

    My question is, and I see it happen almost everyday at the gas station right across from my work, they will change the price of low grade gas, 3 times in a 24 hour period!!!!! What gives??? How can they do that? I know people will say its because when they pay more for gas, they have to raise the price for the consumer, okay I understand that, but I KNOW they don't get 3 deliveries in a day of the higher priced gas!!!!!!!!
    That's a funnny one to me too. It is the rare station that won't up the prices on all grades when they only get a new shipment of the cheap stuff and its price increases. They might as well raise the price because otherwise people wouldn't know how to act.

    Absoultely true story: In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, our area suffered a legitimate short term (less than a week, but it happened to be labor day weekend) supply crunch. There were few deliveries and the price was skyrocketing. Only one of our town's three stations had any fuel and as a result it was packed with customers. Our PD was down there working traffic and generally keeping an eye on things. Trying to be a good mayor, I walked down from town hall to check on the guys. While I was there, the price of 87 octane was raised from 2.69 a gallon to 2.99, but the price of 89 octane remained at 2.89. The line for the regular pump stretched for probably half a mile and the midgrade pump - now cheaper than regular - sat unused. As a group, we humans ain't always the sharpest tools in the shed.

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    Remember that most of the gas stations are "independent contractors" of the major players like Exxon/Mobil, Citgo, BP, Chevron.........

    The big wigs at the petroleum companies call the shots and they tell the gas stations what to charge.

    I like the independent stations myself, but there are none around me so I have to buy at Sam's Club. The manager there is greedy and the pump prices are adjusted by station based on their "competition." So the difference may only be a few cents.

    If I lived in a better spot I'd go to Kangaroo or Sheetz which tends to be better priced, but is about 8 miles away. Just not worth it.
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    Not to argue that some gas stations gouge, the price of oil is not set by the oil companies, but based on world wide supply and demand. A barrel of oil costs the same as any other barrel of oil worldwide. If an oil company is smart they are drilling as many wells as they can right now and have all rigs pumping out as much as they can. Yeah they are milking the situation, but really you can't blame them for bringing a product to market that is in high demand.
    The only ones we can blame, are ourselves for the high price of oil. The price of oil probably won't ever go down again, too many people need it. Hopefully some young genius will soon develop an alternative source of fuel for our cars. Oil is useful for so many other purposes other than auto fuel.

  25. #25
    This space for rent
    NYSmokey's Avatar
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    The recently retired CEO of Exxon/Mobil left with a retirement package worth approximately $398 million! Exxon/Mobil will pay his country club fees (wonder how much they are). He will get to continue to use the corporate jet but he will have to pay for SOME of it. Tough life huh?
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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