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Tuesday, October 14. 2014
Falling Oil Prices
Yesterday, I paid $2.92. Not surprisingly, prices vary from place to place. I'm in New Jersey and we tend to have lower prices. On my way home from Syracuse on Sunday, I paid $3.47 only 5 miles north of the Pennsylvania border. Had I taken the risk to go 10 miles further (my indicator said I had 30 miles left, and that is not very accurate), I could have paid $3.25 simply by crossing the state border.
Recently, there was an article about falling prices in the morning news links here on Maggie's. The suggestion was that US drilling was the driver. I wasn't sure this was accurate, because the numbers didn't add up. Here is a short article on what the other factors may be.
For conspiracy theorists, there's always the political manipulation angle: "Oil has fallen to $60 a barrel. Experts predict it will continue to fall until exactly one minute after the polls close on November 7th." --Jay Leno (election is the 4th this year....but it's all in the delivery).
Posted by Bulldog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects, Our Essays at 12:08 | Comments (29) | Trackbacks (0)
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It is still $3.54 for 87 octane no alcohol gas in McCook, Nebraska. Meanwhile I paid 3.25 for the same grade in Kearney Nebraska the other night. 87 octane with 10% ethanol is 25-30 cents a gallon cheaper.
I am sure it is a combination of things driving prices lower. In the aggregate it will give people more disposable income. Should give the economy a boost.
Still over $3.40 per gallon here in Central Jersey. No movement at all, and I don't expect it to get lower. Far too many libs in the area(Pennington/Princeton) and their grandparents worked far too hard for that to bother their precious bank accounts.
#1, I LOVED Kearney!!! I spent a week in Eustis, NE fixing a punch tin ceiling and some other work, and went into Kearney for a night in the 'big' town!! What a great state!!! Lake McConnaughey(sic) was a blast!!!
I only wish that liberalism hadn't started infecting that wonderful state.
prices still rising and no end in sight here...
Highway prices now 1.77 Euro per LITER, city prices around 1.69 per liter.
That's about $9.50 per gallon...
There's been a huge increase in crude production in North America, which is cheaper here because it already is here -- Alberta oil sells at a huge discount because it is so hard to get it to a port where it can reach a global market. Bakken oil is being sent by rail-car to the port of Albany NY(!), then by tanker (via the Hudson river!) to a refinery in St. John.
Several conflict nations that have had a hard time keeping up exports seem to have simultaneously gotten their act together -- Iran, Libya, Nigeria, etc.
Opec would normally act like a cartel and reduce production in order to boost prices, but the current wisdom is that they won't agree to do so at their Nov meeting, and could they even how it together now that the proportion of the worlds production that they control ever shrinking...
Post-summer slump in gasoline prices is occurring on-cue. A lot of the refineries that were simultaneously closed for expected maintenance and upgrades or unexpected repairs are now back online. The "winter grade" fuel is up to 15¢ cheaper per-gallon to produce than the summer grade fuel mandated for sale in the USA.
Paid $2.889 for "regular" (87) yesterday at a Costco in NJ. IIRC this is 10% ethanol.
Slide in Oil prices started with German economic forcasts going south about 2-3 weeks ago. Combination of doubt about Chinese growth sealed the deal. Sustainable oil prices seem to be around $90-100/bbl so really lower stuff is clearly sign of a new recession. This is particularly true when there is such chaos in the Middle east.
Strong dollar helped as about 30% of prior rise was due to weak dollar (that's why Euro gas prices continue to rise).
It's been on a good slide here, from a top around 3.95/gal at mid summer to about 3.15 now though I got some for 2.89/gal on my regular run to play with 1:1 scale trains. That's a combo of being outside the Louisville metro blend area and stations across the street within sight of an interstate.
The Saudis seem to have an outsize influence on the price, and my guess is they are holding the price down because it hurts the Iranians more than it hurts them, with a side benefit of making shale and other expensive to produce crudes less attractive.
I agree with Douglas that a not insignificant factor is the end of the 'summer driving season' along with the summer gas blends.
I see a small 'end of summer' concept in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
2013 seems to be all over the place. Prior to that, I see no 'end of summer' correlation.
Is this a new concept?
I know there are short term disruptions and improvements in costs as refineries shift seasonally, but these price swings are getting significant.
As you point out, we're currently at about the bare minimum for sustainable US oil production at a profit.
this is pretty significant. A HUGE selloff in Brent today. $4 in 24 hours? That's close to 5%.
It's the economy. As in lack of growth thereof. Economic shrinkage worldwide means much less demand for fuel.
Could make an interesting test of a candidate's commitment to global warming/climate change.
Q. Cheap gas means more green house gases as fewer use mass transit, lower electric car sales and more cars on the road. How will you solve this problem?
A. Deer in the headlights look, err ahh, next question.
I always thought the "Progressive" answer was "Tax it more so people use less, and apply the taxes to subsidies for alternatives."
Probably would be in some enclaves, however, ponder how the question would answered in say Staten Island, East Oregon or any where in the Sunbelt. The D's are slowly learning the old "how does that play in Peoria?".
Oh I agree. Except that the Dems win in urban areas, where most of the votes are (and can be manipulated).
The Dems often feel they can write off Peoria. It may be a mistake, but the last two elections suggest they can. The Electoral College does give some value to the rural sections, but the heavy tilt still remains urban.
Dems win urban where:
1. few people drive cars much so gas is often a minor issue
2. they own the poor vote (assuming they vote) and while energy is an issue, promising more subsidies buys that vote
3. public transport is heavily subsidized and is a value (for me to drive in each day, even carpool, is far more expensive than taking the train)
4. the urban voter who is affluent tends to be Progressive and 'forward thinking' and agrees that he/she should be taxed heavily to promote 'better social consciousness and awareness' and 'promote alternative energy'. They are educated on these topics (poorly in my opinion), and are comfortable with the stiff rule of government as long as that government issues sappy ''we care about you" commentary.
They are cattle being led into the abattoir, not knowing the fate which eventually awaits them. Kind've sad, really, if their voice didn't have so much impact on our own lives.
it is. They went so far here as to try to introduce a law that would make it illegal to lower gasoline prices.
When that failed they tried to introduce a law that would automatically raise taxes on gasoline to compensate for any decrease in gasoline prices (which of course would have had the same effect).
That too failed.
Of course they failed 15 years ago. I've little doubt that were they to try for such a law today it'd get voted into law with very little opposition.
Paying around $3.50 in Waterbury area of CT, give or take .10 cents.
Brick-a-brack-a firecrackah, sis boom bah!
Fracking, fracking, rah rah rah!
It's $3.04/gallon for 87 octane (w/ up to 10% ethanol) here in Annandale, VA, just inside the Capitol beltway. Gas Buddy tells me that if I shop around a little, I can probably get it for just under $3.00/gal...
Still above $3.50 in Bryan-College Station, Texas, but as home to the state's largest university we have a mobile population plus tens of thousands of visitors every home football game weekend so sellers have little incentive to lower the price.
The local station is dropping compared to the one across the street. Normally in lockstep of 2 cents to each other. Currently 7 cent spread. The only reason I can think they are lower is because they have to keep moving it to make room for the next delivery, albeit at a still profitable price. The other station probably doesn't have the same supply chain issue so they are keeping theirs higher to recapture their purchase price.
It only takes a back-of-the-envelope calculation to see that the oil companies making gas cheaper for some electoral purpose would cost them about half a billion a week. Much cheaper to buy a lot of elections for 1/100 that amount.
Therefore, that's not what's driving the prices down.
BTW, Senators McAskill, an accountant, and Hillary Clinton, a Wellesley valedict, made that accusation against Bush. They can do the arithmetic easily.
Therefore, they were lying. Or not bothering to do the arithmetic because the paranoid feeling is so much more fun.
Absolutely - that's why I said it's for conspiracy theorists.
Oil companies have a very thin margin on each gallon of gas. About $.05. California did a study many years ago, I assume in an attempt to extort more from oil companies, and that's what they found.
When you think about the millions of gallons sold each day, $.05 adds up to some very large profits.
Yes it is Bull Dog, multiply by 12 months and you are talking $400-$500/yr. Yeah, I know, chicken feed to a lot of people in the East but it is still a lot to people in flyover country, many of whom have long commutes and will save more than $10/week.
And let's not forget diesel and home heating fuel. They have fallen by similar amounts. Savings for the transportation industry will be huge and it will give some relief to the users of heating oil as well.
That's only a $10.00 difference on a tank full. I don't think that's a significant drop. Let me know when the price drops to half or more.
I treat gas like I use to treat cigarettes. When I'm out I fill up again. I don't even notice the price because it won't make me buy less or conserve more. Whatever the price, a gallon of gas still gets me further than a gallon of milk will, and milk costs more.
If your tank of gas is $59, as mine was, and now you pay $49 as I did yesterday - that's a pretty significant drop. Almost 17%.
$10 in the grand scheme of things isn't much for one tank. But on a percentage basis, it's massive. In addition, if you have 2 cars and use 3-4 tanks a month, that's $30 to $40 which can go to other uses.
Doesn't sound like a lot, but it is for many people.
$3.15 for the cheap brand in Sacramento, CA, down from $3.95 6 weeks ago.
In my area of California it still hasn't rolled back. And in January the Calif air resources board is planning to collect a huge surcharge on each gallon probably forcing it back into the $4 range again.
Gas prices here have been over the $4 a gallon since before Obama was elected president, but they may go below $4 for the first time in say, seven years? We had been hovering in the 4.40 - 4.60 range for a long time but they recently dropped to 4.25 and now are at 4.05.
Much of the cost of gasoline here is not the gasoline, but all the taxes heaped on top and the fact that blending with ethanol is mandated (which must be separately shipped in). Ethanol also causes a significant decrease in performance and energy efficiency, which means you have to buy more fuel to go the same distance.
Actually, the average price of a gallon of gas had fallen to $1.84 on the day Obama was inaugurated.
While it had been over $4.00 in some sections of the country, it had only touched $4.00 right before the big blowoff at the end of 2008. By and large the average price prior to his coming to office was around $2.85.
Your point is correct, though. Most of the costs are taxes and ethanol. Not sure what you mean by ethanol needs to be shipped in. Most of it is produced by ADM and is heavily subsidized, so we actually pay for it twice...