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Old 04-23-2007, 08:40 AM  
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Gasoline at $4 Coming to a Pump Near You, Unfazed by Rising Tab

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=afOlUzd30YOo

Pretty alarmist, IMO, but possible.

April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Whether it's $50 to fill up your Prius or $130 for the Ford Expedition, $4-a-gallon gasoline is coming to a pump near you.

Fuel prices are rising at a pace not seen since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita knocked out a third of the U.S. oil refining industry in 2005. Gasoline consumption is climbing twice as fast as last year and will accelerate when summer travel begins late next month.

``What we're surprised by is the increased demand,'' said James Mulva, chief executive officer at ConocoPhillips, whose refineries from California to New Jersey produce 56 million gallons of gas a day, enough to meet 14 percent of the country's needs. ``Even though the price of gasoline is up, the demand is up,'' he said in an April 12 interview in Houston.

Population gains and U.S. economic growth are causing an increase in fuel purchases, according to Orlando, Florida-based AAA, the nation's largest organization for motorists. The U.S. economy will expand at a 2.4 percent annual pace in the second quarter, up from 1.8 percent in the first three months, according to the median estimate of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Gasoline use is rising almost 5 percent above the five-year average.

Americans are resigned to higher prices, says David Pursell, a principal with Pickering Energy Partners, a consulting firm in Houston.

``Last year, we had pump prices well over $3 for the summer and gasoline demand was up,'' Pursell said in an interview. ``Would $4 gasoline cause demand contraction? I think it will, but I also thought $3 gasoline would.''

Pump Prices

Gasoline inventories, measured by the days of demand they will cover, are at the lowest level in two decades for this time of year because of refinery fires, power failures and maintenance work oil companies failed to complete in 2006. No new U.S. refinery has been built in three decades, increasing the strain on existing plants.

Pump prices in the U.S. may increase to $4 a gallon from a nationwide average of $2.87 today, especially if hurricanes threaten Gulf of Mexico refineries, says Peter Beutel, an analyst at Cameron Hanover Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, who helps industrial consumers manage energy costs.

``Hurricanes are always the huge wild card,'' said Beutel. ``We're all praying for a year like 2006 rather than 2005.''

The June-to-November Atlantic Ocean hurricane season may produce 17 tropical storms, with nine reaching hurricane force and four becoming major hurricanes whose winds exceed 111 miles per hour (179 kilometers per hour), London-based forecasters at Tropical Storm Risk said. Some of the storms will strike the Gulf Coast this year after a benign 2006, AccuWeather.com predicted.

Inflation Risk

Higher pump prices will make winners of refinery owners such as ConocoPhillips, San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc of The Hague. Shares of Valero and Sunoco Inc., whose only business is refining, are rebounding after a decline at the end of last summer.

The increase in fuel costs threatens to quicken inflation and restrain consumer spending in the U.S. An appreciation to $4 a gallon would add more than $10 for a driver who fills the 12- gallon tank of a Toyota Motor Corp. Prius. The owner of an Expedition, a Ford Motor Co. sport-utility vehicle with a 34- gallon capacity, faces an increase of almost $40.

Many Americans have no choice but to drive more, says Christopher Knittel, an economist who studies fuel consumption at the University of California in Davis.

More Commuters

``We live farther from our jobs than we did in the 1970s, and with the rise of dual-income households, we now have two people who drive those distances every day,'' Knittel said.

Consumers also do more driving for things such as taking children to soccer practice, which they are unlikely to quit, he said. The U.S. population has increased 1 percent a year in the past decade to 301 million in 2007, adding to demand for gasoline, economists said.

Rising fuel prices make it less likely that Federal Reserve policy makers, who have cited inflation risks for the past year, will cut interest rates to spur economic growth. Before the hurricane-induced peak in 2005, U.S. gasoline topped out at $1.42 a gallon in March 1981, or $3.21 when adjusted for inflation, according to the Energy Department.

Economies in Europe and Asia are less likely to be hurt by gasoline prices because fuel already is subject to high taxes designed to encourage conservation. A gallon of unleaded costs about 3.25 pounds a gallon ($6.49) in the U.K., and in Japan it's 130.3 yen per liter ($4.16 a gallon).

$4 Barrier

U.S. consumers will get little relief on gasoline prices from Europe this year, unlike 2005, when oil companies shipped more across the Atlantic after the hurricanes. Europe's gasoline inventories in February were 114.2 million barrels, down 11 percent from two years earlier, according to the International Energy Agency in Paris. The drop in Europe was almost twice the 5.7 percent decline in U.S. supplies in that time.

``Just as we used to think $3 a gallon was an impenetrable barrier, now it's $4,'' said Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Business in College Park and former chief economist for the U.S. International Trade Commission. Gasoline at $3.50 is likely, Morici said, and a conflict with Iran or any event that disrupts crude supplies may push it to $4.

Pump prices rose 33 percent in the past 11 weeks, the fastest rate of gain since a six-week, 34 percent rally to the record $3.069 in September 2005, Energy Department data show.

Bodman's `Worry'

U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman in an interview last week said the national average pump price could break the record this summer. While his agency's official forecast is for gasoline to peak next month at about where it is today, hurricanes, refinery closures or crude oil supply cuts may send prices higher, he said.

Higher prices are ``a legitimate worry,'' Bodman said. ``We have trouble spots all over the world'' that could boost crude oil prices. ``We're in a very tight situation.''

Spending on fuel in the U.S. consumes half as much household income as in the early 1980s, which means gasoline would need to reach almost $6 a gallon to have the same effect on the economy as in 1981, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Storage tanks at U.S. refineries, terminals and ports hold enough gasoline to cover almost 22 days of domestic demand, 8.2 percent less than the five-year average and the lowest for this time of year since the 1980s, Energy Department figures show.

Shortages

Valero-owned filling stations in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, ran dry after a Feb. 16 explosion and fire shut the company's McKee refinery in Sunray, Texas. A day earlier, a blaze at an Exxon Mobil Corp. plant in Nanticoke, Ontario, slashed output, resulting in shortages and higher prices across eastern Canada.

The McKee shutdown strained supplies so much that ConocoPhillips postponed maintenance at its Borger, Texas, refinery north of Amarillo to prevent shortages in the region.

``Refineries are becoming more complex,'' Mulva said in the Houston interview. ``What we're finding is it's more difficult keeping reliability up with more sophisticated pieces of equipment that are highly integrated.''

Tesoro Corp. of San Antonio, the second-largest refiner in the western U.S., said first-quarter refinery use dropped because oil companies delayed until this year maintenance that could have been done in 2006. The portion of U.S. refining capacity that was in operation in the first quarter declined to 87.3 percent from 88.9 percent a year earlier, according to Energy Department data.

`Refineries Blow Up'

``Prices will depend entirely on whether we have a couple of refineries blow up,'' said Philip K. Verleger, an economist who runs a consulting firm in Newport Beach, California. ``It's almost impossible we'll get to $4 a gallon if all the refineries run well this summer. But if something happens and there are problems, then anything's possible.''

The average share gain for Valero, Tesoro and six other oil-refining companies is 26 percent this year, outperforming the 4.1 percent gain for Exxon Mobil and a 4.7 percent increase for the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

The shares will continue to rally, said Paul Carlson, who helps manage $3 billion at HGK Asset Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

``Refiners are doing very well these days,'' said Carlson, whose holdings include ConocoPhillips, the second-biggest U.S. refiner. ``There will be lots of demand for any new refining stocks.''

`Back in Favor'

As recently as August, investors were selling oil refiners on concern an economic slowdown would slash fuel demand in the U.S., the world's largest energy market. During seven weeks last August and September, Valero shares fell 29 percent, wiping out $12 billion in market value.

``Refining is very much back in favor,'' said Douglas Ober, who helps oversee $2.3 billion at Baltimore-based Adams Express Co. ``Even with higher prices, we haven't seen any substantial cutback in demand. They're cranking out as much of this stuff as they can, and we're throwing it in our tanks as fast as we can.''

The margin earned from processing crude oil into fuels rose to $24.68 a barrel on April 11, the highest since right after the hurricanes in September 2005. The margin has since retreated to $22.12 a barrel, still about double the five-year average.

``It'll be a fairly tight gasoline market all through the summer,'' said Robert Hinckley, an analyst at Rochdale Securities in New York.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:55 PM   #4321
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:13 AM   #4322
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Crude is approaching the $100 mark. I think it's pretty likely it will cross it, barring a few things.
The news here yesterday was heralding that oil was down and that the pump prices would be falling...WTF?
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Old 07-16-2014, 07:53 AM   #4323
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Originally Posted by InChiefsHell View Post
The news here yesterday was heralding that oil was down and that the pump prices would be falling...WTF?
Crude did close below $100 yesterday and gasoline will likely fall as a result. Why WTF?
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:07 AM   #4324
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Originally Posted by InChiefsHell View Post
The news here yesterday was heralding that oil was down and that the pump prices would be falling...WTF?
Ours has started to drop. We hovered near $4/gal for a while but it has gone down a nickle over the last couple of days. Had to gouge the 4th of July travelers, of course.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:09 AM   #4325
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Ours has started to drop. We hovered near $4/gal for a while but it has gone down a nickle over the last couple of days. Had to gouge the 4th of July travelers, of course.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:22 AM   #4326
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I knew you would enjoy that.

Strange coincidence, though, that the prices here rose quickly between Mem Day and the 4th and then start dropping a week after the 4th. I guess it was just one of those things.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:23 AM   #4327
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I knew you would enjoy that.

Strange coincidence, though, that the prices here rose quickly between Mem Day and the 4th and then start dropping a week after the 4th. I guess it was just one of those things.
Yes, supply and demand is a very weird thing.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:29 AM   #4328
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Crude did close below $100 yesterday and gasoline will likely fall as a result. Why WTF?
Well, your earlier post indicated to me that the future was looking bleak. I just can't believe how fast shit turns around I guess.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:32 AM   #4329
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Well, your earlier post indicated to me that the future was looking bleak. I just can't believe how fast shit turns around I guess.
My earlier post where I said that crude would likely go below $100?
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:39 AM   #4330
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My earlier post where I said that crude would likely go below $100?
Ah, I misunderstood. Approaching the 100 mark to me sounds like it's climbing to 100, not dropping below. Since I don't stay on top of oil prices, I didn't realize it was above 100.

Carry on.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:30 PM   #4331
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Jul 18, 2:07 PM EDT

OBAMA OPENS EASTERN SEABOARD TO OIL EXPLORATION

BY JASON DEAREN
ASSOCIATED PRESS



ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- The Obama administration is reopening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration, announcing final approval Friday of sonic cannons that can pinpoint energy deposits deep beneath the ocean floor.

The decision promises to create plenty of jobs and thrills the oil industry, but dismays environmentalists worried about the immediate impact as well as the long-term implications of oil development.

The cannons fill waters shared by whales and turtles with sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine. Saving endangered species was the environmental groups' best hope of extending a ban against offshore drilling off the U.S. Atlantic coast.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management disclosed its final approval first to The Associated Press ahead of an announcement later Friday.

The approval opens the outer continental shelf from Delaware to Florida to exploration by energy companies preparing to apply for drilling leases in 2018, when current congressional limits are set to expire. The bureau is moving ahead despite acknowledging that thousands of sea creatures will be harmed.

"The bureau's decision reflects a carefully analyzed and balanced approach that will allow us to increase our understanding of potential offshore resources while protecting the human, marine, and coastal environments," acting BOEM Director Walter Cruickshank said in a statement.

These sonic cannons are already in use in the western Gulf of Mexico, off Alaska and other offshore oil operations around the world. They are towed behind boats, sending strong pulses of sound into the ocean every 10 seconds or so. The pulses reverberate beneath the sea floor and bounce back to the surface, where they are measured by hydrophones. Computers then translate the data into high resolution, three-dimensional images.

"It's like a sonogram of the Earth," said Andy Radford, a petroleum engineer at the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas trade association in Washington DC. "You can't see the oil and gas, but you can see the structures in the earth that might hold oil and gas."

The surveys can have other benefits, including mapping habitats for marine life, identifying solid undersea flooring for wind energy turbines, and locating spots where sand can be collected for beach restoration. But fossil fuel mostly funds this research, which produces data held as energy company secrets and disclosed only to the government.

"They paid for it, so I can see why they don't want to share. These things are not cheap," said John Jaeger, a University of Florida geology professor.

The bureau estimates that 4.72 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 37.51 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas lies beneath federal waters from Florida to Maine. Oil lobbyists say drilling for it could generate $195 billion in investment and spending between 2017 and 2035, creating thousands of jobs and contributing $23.5 billion per year to the economy.

These estimates describe the total amount of energy "technically recoverable" from the outer continental shelf, which includes the seabed off New Jersey, New York and New England. But the north Atlantic zone remains off limits for now, apparently for political reasons. While some states have passed drilling bans, Virginia and the Carolinas requested the seismic surveys in an effort to grow their economies, bureau officials said Friday.

In any case, the area to be mapped is farther offshore in federal waters, beyond the reach of state law.

The sonic cannons are often fired continually for weeks or months, and multiple mapping projects may operate simultaneously. To get permits, companies will need to have whale-spotting observers onboard and do undersea acoustic tests to avoid nearby species. Certain habitats will be closed during birthing or feeding seasons.

Still, underwater microphones have picked up blasts from these sonic cannons over distances of thousands of miles, and the constant banging - amplified in water by orders of magnitude - poses unavoidable dangers for marine life, scientists say.

Whales and dolphins depend on being able to hear their own much less powerful echolocation to feed, communicate and keep in touch with their family groups across hundreds of miles. Even fish and crabs navigate and communicate by sound, said Grant Gilmore, an expert on fish ecology in Vero Beach, Fla.

"We don't know what the physiological effects are. It could be permanent hearing damage in many of these creatures just by one encounter with a high-energy signal," Gilmore said.

More than 120,000 comments were sent to the government, which held hearings and spent years developing these rules. The bureau's environmental impact study estimates that more than 138,000 sea creatures could be harmed, including nine of the world's remaining 500 north Atlantic right whales.

These whales give birth and breed off the coast of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas before migrating north each year. Many other species vital to East Coast fisheries also travel up and down the Gulf Stream.

"Once they can't hear -- and that's the risk that comes with seismic testing -- they are pretty much done for," said Katie Zimmerman, a spokeswoman for the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League based in Charleston, S.C.

"Even if there were oil out there, do we really want that? Do we really want to see these offshore rigs set up? Do we really want our tourism industry to suffer? Do we really want our environment to suffer?" she asked.

Some of these animals are so scarce that intense noise pollution could have long-term effects, agreed Scott Kraus, a right whale expert at the John H. Prescott Marine Laboratory in Boston. Scientists can't even approach them without extensive permits from federal marine mammal regulators.

"No one has been allowed to test anything like this on right whales," Kraus said of the seismic cannons. "(The Obama administration) has authorized a giant experiment on right whales that this country would never allow researchers to do."

Before the U.S. Atlantic seabed was closed to oil exploration in the 1980s, some exploratory wells were drilled, but the region has never had significant offshore production.

"One thing we find is, the more you get out and drill and explore to confirm what you see in the seismic -- you end up finding more oil and gas than what you think is out there when you started," Radford said.

Opposition to oil development has been abundant along the coast, where people worry that oil will displace fisheries and tourism. More than 16 communities from Florida to New Jersey passed resolutions opposing or raising concerns about the seismic testing and offshore drilling. Some states have passed

The local economy is fueled by beach tourism and fishing in St. Augustine in north Florida, where rare turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.

"Florida has already felt the devastating effects of an uncontrolled oil release with the Deepwater Horizon event of which cleanup efforts are still on-going," said John Morris, a county commissioner whose constituency includes St. Augustine Beach. "Any oil spill, large or small, off the coast of St. Johns County, would greatly affect the county's economy."

---

Associated Press Writers Bruce Smith in Charleston, S.C.; and Alex Sanz in Vero Beach, Fla., contributed to this story.

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Old 07-18-2014, 01:33 PM   #4332
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Beat me to it! Good news for us.

"Even if there were oil out there, do we really want that? Do we really want to see these offshore rigs set up? Do we really want our tourism industry to suffer? Do we really want our environment to suffer?" she asked.

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Old 07-18-2014, 01:36 PM   #4333
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Was gas $4 seven years ago?
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L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.L.A. Chieffan is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:39 PM   #4334
Chief_For_Life58 Chief_For_Life58 is offline
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if is wasent for macando wed probably already be drilling the eastern seaboard right now
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Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.Chief_For_Life58 Forgot to Remove His Claytex and Got Toxic Shock Syndrome.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:41 PM   #4335
Donger Donger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.A. Chieffan View Post
Was gas $4 seven years ago?
No, 2008.
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I think the young people enjoy it when I "get down," verbally, don't you?
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Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.Donger is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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