Home Northwest General Fishing & The Outdoors

Oil prices

All I know is that Iran better start watching the skies once Americans start paying over $4/gallon for gas. No doubt in my mind they are trying to build a bomb. They have no legitimate use for enriching Uranium to 20% or above. They only need to enrich it to 3-5% for producing power. I think this will all be coming to a head pretty soon. The Middle East is one big powder keg! Democracy in the Middle East is counter-intuitive to our longstanding policy over there, which has been the support of dictatorships and monarchies. We've created fervent ground for the rise of the Islamic hardliners over there through the spread of "democracy".


  • UgahewesUgahewes Posts: 5,322 Admiral
    we are screwed, oil problem has been going on forever and will not change

    signed: we are all puppets
  • wishfishinwishfishin Posts: 4,080 Captain
    There is more to our "occupation" of Iraq and Afghanistan than any of us are aware of.
  • Sopchoppy RedneckSopchoppy Redneck Posts: 1,421 Officer
    The average price of gas is up more than 10 percent since the start of the year, a point repeatedly made during Wednesday’s Republican Presidential debate. Predictably, the four GOP candidates blamed President Barack Obama for the steep increase.

    Actually, the President doesn’t have that kind of pricing power. The more likely reason behind the price increase, though certainly less compelling as a political argument, is the recent spate of refinery closures in the U.S. Over the past year, refineries have faced a classic margin squeeze. Prices for Brent crude have gone up, but demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at a 15-year low. That means refineries haven’t been able to pass on the higher prices to their customers.

    As a result, companies have chosen to shut down a handful of large refineries rather than continue to lose money on them. Since December, the U.S. has lost about 4 percent of its refining capacity, says Fadel Gheit, a senior oil and gas analyst for Oppenheimer. That month, two large refineries outside Philadelphia shut down: Sunoco’s plant in Marcus Hook, Pa., and a ConocoPhillips plant in nearby Trainer, Pa. Together they accounted for about 20 percent of all gasoline produced in the Northeast.

    This week, Hovensa finished shutting down its refinery in St. Croix. The plant processed 350,000 barrels of crude a day, and yet lost about $1.3 billion over the past three years, or roughly $1 million a day. The St. Croix plant got hit with a double whammy of pricing pressure. Not only did it face higher prices for Brent crude, but it also lacked access to cheap natural gas, a crucial raw material for refineries. Without the advantage of low natural gas prices, which are down 50 percent since June 2011, it’s likely that more refineries would have had to shut down.

    The U.S. refining industry is being split in two. On one hand are the older refineries, mostly on the East and Gulf Coasts, that are set up to handle only the higher quality Brent “sweet” crude—the stuff that comes from the Middle East and the North Sea. Brent is easier to refine, though it’s gotten considerably more expensive recently. (Certainly another reason for higher gas prices.)

    Then there are the plants able to refine the heavier, dirtier West Texas Intermediate (WTI)—the stuff that comes from Canadian tar sands, the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico, and the newer outposts in North Dakota, which just passed Ecuador in oil production. These refineries tend to be clustered in the Midwest—places such as Oklahoma, Kansas, and outside Chicago. While the price of Brent crude has closed at over $120 a barrel in recent days, WTI is trading at closer to $106. That simple differential is the reason older refineries that can handle only Brent are hemorrhaging cash and shutting down, while refineries that can handle WTI are flourishing.

    [Also see: 10 Places Where a Gallon of Gas Is More Expensive Than in the U.S.]

    “The U.S. refining industry is undergoing a huge, regional transformation,” says Ben Brockwell, a director at Oil Price Information Services. “If you look at refinery utilization rates in the Midwest and Great Lakes areas, they’re running at close to 95 percent capacity, and on the East Coast it’s more like 60 percent,” he says.

    This is primarily why the cheapest gas prices in the country are found in such states as Colorado, Utah, Montana, and New Mexico, while New York, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C., have some of the highest prices.
  • BigfootBigfoot Posts: 9,383 Admiral
    All part of "feeling the pain" until we all drive a Prius - that big brother insist we drive. Until we feel it on our wallet, no change occurs...I get that, but there must be a better way...

    They can KMA, about fed up with all the shenanigans of big oil and gov't...
    Sometimes the nicest people you meet are covered in tattoos & sometimes the most judgmental people you meet go to church on Sundays...
  • wishfishinwishfishin Posts: 4,080 Captain
    One blend year round would cure most of the seesaw in oil prices. As has become typical, capitualtion to the enviros stresses the economy.
  • GANDERGANDER Posts: 371 Deckhand
    Love my F150 4x4, but dang it's gonna be a BILL driving to SGI this spring!

    Wish they could make a 4x4 Prius that would tow a 4k# boat! (Wait--there's that hybrid Tahoe, but I haven't got the $60K to buy one) But the way that our current fossil fuel energy source recovery fouls the water, air and soil the best long-term investment is to find alternatives that keep us and the planet healthy. Otherwise the price of gas won't really matter that much...

    Sop--thanks for the primer on the variations in crude and refining cost margins! And to think most folks just consider it an "oil production" and "gas" problem! So oversimplified...
Sign In or Register to comment.