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Old 04-23-2007, 08:40 AM  
Donger Donger is offline
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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 04-17-2012, 12:20 PM   #3406
Bump Bump is offline
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Originally Posted by tmw4h5 View Post
I haven't read through this thread because I don't have enough god damn time.

I'm assuming that with the large number of intelligent people who troll this forum (and don't lol, there are very intelligent people here - those who see the greatness that Captain America Stanzi really is), that somebody has mentioned how our country is a plutocracy with the appearance of a democracy to keep poor people from getting too riled up.

Corporations not only run our country, they run the world. With candidates no longer required to disclose where their campaigns receive money from, does that not raise a giant red flag about where the money comes from? When a corporation basically bankrolls your entire campaign, does that corporation not want you to return the favor when in office?
What is there to keep foreign interests from making large donations to candidates?

Our political system is f'd. Entirely f'd. And the people in charge are geniuses. They take the largest portion of our society and split them up over meaningless issues like birth control and the right to bear arms and religion instead of us uniting against what's really important in our country.

"Demonize welfare, middle class eliminated. Rich get richer 'til the poor get educated."

If you're making under $400k per year, you need to realize that you're no different than the cashier at Wal-Mart. Your $400k a year might as well be turds in a purse compared to the uber wealthy in this country.
YUP

I totally agree, I wish more people could see what is happening. But they can't.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:24 PM   #3407
tmw4h5 tmw4h5 is offline
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I hate talking about shit like that because people almost always label you a conspiracy theorist.

But let's be honest here man, if you honestly think that the average politician in DC gives a shit about you, you're delusional.

You know what's sad? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is actually a somewhat accurate representation of our government.

I'm just extremely tired of these people I see around that are making $60k a year who think that the government has their best interest at heart -- you're lying to yourself.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:32 PM   #3408
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Originally Posted by tmw4h5 View Post
I hate talking about shit like that because people almost always label you a conspiracy theorist.

But let's be honest here man, if you honestly think that the average politician in DC gives a shit about you, you're delusional.

You know what's sad? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is actually a somewhat accurate representation of our government.

I'm just extremely tired of these people I see around that are making $60k a year who think that the government has their best interest at heart -- you're lying to yourself.
I've never met a conservative who doesn't believe everything their republican official tells them. You are right, they honestly believe that there is no corruption in our government, they really do. They see nothing wrong with corporations buying their own laws, bribing congress and throwing our votes out and buying elections. Anyone who questions the government is labeled a left winged loon and it just shows, most people can't see things for what they actually are.

I'm expecting the worst and I do believe we are about to face another depression and it will be brought on intentionally by our elite. They want to be Gods, being uber rich isn't enough, why do you think we are fighting these wars overseas? money and power, all of soldiers are dying in vain over there and it's sad. Once gas goes up even more, that has a direct effect on our economy and it's just going to keep getting worse and worse until it's too late.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:33 PM   #3409
Donger Donger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmw4h5 View Post
I haven't read through this thread because I don't have enough god damn time.

I'm assuming that with the large number of intelligent people who troll this forum (and don't lol, there are very intelligent people here - those who see the greatness that Captain America Stanzi really is), that somebody has mentioned how our country is a plutocracy with the appearance of a democracy to keep poor people from getting too riled up.

Corporations not only run our country, they run the world. With candidates no longer required to disclose where their campaigns receive money from, does that not raise a giant red flag about where the money comes from? When a corporation basically bankrolls your entire campaign, does that corporation not want you to return the favor when in office?
What is there to keep foreign interests from making large donations to candidates?

Our political system is f'd. Entirely f'd. And the people in charge are geniuses. They take the largest portion of our society and split them up over meaningless issues like birth control and the right to bear arms and religion instead of us uniting against what's really important in our country.

"Demonize welfare, middle class eliminated. Rich get richer 'til the poor get educated."

If you're making under $400k per year, you need to realize that you're no different than the cashier at Wal-Mart. Your $400k a year might as well be turds in a purse compared to the uber wealthy in this country.
What on Earth compelled you to post this on this thread?
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:38 PM   #3410
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Oh surprise, Donger is here to insult anyone who questions the government again.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:40 PM   #3411
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Oh surprise, Donger is here to insult anyone who questions the government again.
No, there are other places for that. I was just wondering why he/she chose this thread in which to rant.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:40 PM   #3412
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Originally Posted by Bump View Post
I've never met a conservative who doesn't believe everything their republican official tells them. You are right, they honestly believe that there is no corruption in our government, they really do. They see nothing wrong with corporations buying their own laws, bribing congress and throwing our votes out and buying elections. Anyone who questions the government is labeled a left winged loon and it just shows, most people can't see things for what they actually are.

I'm expecting the worst and I do believe we are about to face another depression and it will be brought on intentionally by our elite. They want to be Gods, being uber rich isn't enough, why do you think we are fighting these wars overseas? money and power, all of soldiers are dying in vain over there and it's sad. Once gas goes up even more, that has a direct effect on our economy and it's just going to keep getting worse and worse until it's too late.
Complete ****ing bullshit.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:42 PM   #3413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmw4h5 View Post
I haven't read through this thread because I don't have enough god damn time.

I'm assuming that with the large number of intelligent people who troll this forum (and don't lol, there are very intelligent people here - those who see the greatness that Captain America Stanzi really is), that somebody has mentioned how our country is a plutocracy with the appearance of a democracy to keep poor people from getting too riled up.

Corporations not only run our country, they run the world. With candidates no longer required to disclose where their campaigns receive money from, does that not raise a giant red flag about where the money comes from? When a corporation basically bankrolls your entire campaign, does that corporation not want you to return the favor when in office?
What is there to keep foreign interests from making large donations to candidates?

Our political system is f'd. Entirely f'd. And the people in charge are geniuses. They take the largest portion of our society and split them up over meaningless issues like birth control and the right to bear arms and religion instead of us uniting against what's really important in our country.

"Demonize welfare, middle class eliminated. Rich get richer 'til the poor get educated."

If you're making under $400k per year, you need to realize that you're no different than the cashier at Wal-Mart. Your $400k a year might as well be turds in a purse compared to the uber wealthy in this country.
Um, this thread is largely about the price of oil, we try to skirt politics in it. Yes, it can be inevitable, but for the most part, we try to skip the politics.

Actually, I don't really know that we've been that successful, but we try.

Welcome to the Planet.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:47 PM   #3414
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Complete ****ing bullshit.
no, it's not.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #3415
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no, it's not.
Politicians are like this. NOT Republicans is general. This includes Democrats.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:20 PM   #3416
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Crude is up, BTW. $104 per barrel. Gasoline at $3.89
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:26 PM   #3417
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Crude is up, BTW. $104 per barrel. Gasoline at $3.89
Oh. Ahem, back to the thread.

**** YOU DONGER! /Bugeater
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:30 PM   #3418
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**** YOU DONGER! /Bugeater
THIS!!!
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:35 PM   #3419
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I dont even pay much attention to gas prices. I have to buy it.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:38 PM   #3420
tmw4h5 tmw4h5 is offline
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I'm not attacking conservatives or liberals, I'm attacking the idea that we, as Americans, seemingly refuse to see what is going on in the world.
We are the ones who are impacted the most, yet we are too easily distracted by meaningless shit to do something about it.

The first car ever invented was an electric car. Global warming is obvious (however, it has been exaggerated greatly by many people -- but to say that we have no effect on our climate is a complete joke) and these natural resources that we are using will be depleted at some point.
Rather than invest in new technology, we continue to allow others to control our lives via oil.

As sad as it is, our entirety as a society is controlled by the price of gasoline.

There are other alternative fuel sources -- we have ways to reduce our dependence on oil (not just foreign, but oil in general), but it's far too profitable for those in charge.

Gas prices are what they are because they simply know that we are willing to pay whatever it costs to travel/go to work/etc. Oil is only behind oxygen and water in terms of necessities for us as Americans. It ties with food. Why? How do you think you get your food? How do you think your food gets to you?

You're telling me that we can split an atom but we can't create an alternative fuel source that is more acceptable than gasoline?
Are you f'ing kidding me?

It's the same idea when it comes to medicine. Think about it from the point of view of a pharmaceutical company. If you could offer somebody a one-time solution for a disease or a cancer that is a one-time-pay sort of option or have somebody paying monthly for medicine for years and years, what would you choose financially?

As humans, we are capable of fantastic things; that has been proven. But we are also (seemingly) inherently greedy and we continue to let power/money control us.


Again, oil prices are what they are because we will pay anything to get gas -- we have to because that's the society that we live in.
WE, as people, can force a change in the way things are done.
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