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Taking a summer trip? Better budget $2 gas

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  • Taking a summer trip? Better budget $2 gas

    March 9, 2005, 1:20AM

    Taking a summer trip? Better budget $2 gas
    Price of regular here is up 9 cents over last week
    By TOM FOWLER and LYNN J. COOK
    Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle


    Gasoline prices are expected to jump 15 cents a gallon in the coming weeks and stay above $2 for the summer driving season, according to the government's Energy Information Administration.

    Prices nationwide averaged $2 a gallon Monday, up 7.1 cents from the previous week and 9 cents from the month before, according to the monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook report released Tuesday.

    Prices nationally are expected to average about $2.10 per gallon between April and September of this year, but will likely hit $2.15 before then.

    Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service in Lakewood, N.J., said the national price could go as high as $2.20 in April, but said predictions beyond 20 days should hardly be considered an exact science.

    "It's like pouring a beer. You can see the foam will rise some more, but you just don't know how much," he said.

    While these prices will top the record high of $2.06 for a gallon of regular, which was recorded in May 2004, it will be well short of the inflation-adjusted high. The true record was hit in March 1981 at $3.08 per gallon when adjusted for today's dollars.

    Prices in Houston are already climbing. According to AAA, regular grade gasoline averaged $1.823 per gallon in the area on Monday, up 3.5 cents from the previous day but up less than a penny from the month before.

    Data collected by the Energy Information Administration had the average regular grade price in Houston at $1.839 per gallon on Monday, up 8.7 cents from the previous week.

    Gasoline prices start to climb about this time every year in anticipation of rising gasoline demand as summer nears. For several weeks, analysts have been predicting prices would climb higher in response to rising crude oil prices this winter and limited U.S. refinery output.

    Crude oil prices have been above $50 a barrel for several weeks. On Tuesday, crude oil futures for April delivery briefly hit $55.15 in trading at the New York Mercantile Exchange — just short of the record set last year — before closing up 70 cents at $54.59 a barrel.

    "What's happened to prices is anticipatory instead of reactive," Kloza said. "It's all about 'what if?' 'What if the Saudis don't ratchet production higher? What if Nigeria has more of the typical unrest?' "

    The annual gasoline price climb may have come a bit earlier this year over worries among gasoline traders that refineries would not make a smooth transition from this spring's regularly scheduled shutdowns for maintenance. Many refineries are expected to make more upgrades to meet new federal clean air guidelines that go into effect in 2006.

    Gasoline futures also hit a record Tuesday as contracts for April delivery rose 3 cents, or 2 percent, to nearly $1.54 a gallon on the Nymex. That's the highest ever close for the contract since trading began in 1984.

    Prices are likely to react to the government's weekly energy inventory numbers that will be released this morning. A survey on Tuesday by Bloomberg News predicted U.S. oil inventories likely rose in the past week, partly because of reduced usage by refineries undergoing maintenance.

    Higher inventories tend to have a moderating effect on prices.

    On average, the United States has roughly 50 million fewer barrels of crude oil in storage today than it did 20 years ago, and 40 million barrels less in gasoline storage.
    "Blue Oh-Two" (#424)
    Rick's header, Hondata gasket, Mugen thermostat/fan switch, Mugen radiator cap, Aussie mirror, Lucid's rear speakers, Alpine CDA-7893R & KCE-865B, Muz's saddlebag, Windscreen Light, Modifry's glove box organizer and lots of Zaino!


  • #2
    I wish we paid only $2 out here. It's been above $2 for over a year. Right now, the going price I see for the cheap stuff is about $2.23. That was down around $2.05 about 3 weeks ago. So you can imagine the price of the good stuff that goes into the S
    Last edited by indiandi; 03-09-2005, 10:59 AM.

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    • #3
      Just got gas this morning (literally) for $1.79/gal. I guess I should not complain too loudly (though it seems that it was 5 cents cheaper on Sunday). Premium goes for $1.98/gal.
      "Blue Oh-Two" (#424)
      Rick's header, Hondata gasket, Mugen thermostat/fan switch, Mugen radiator cap, Aussie mirror, Lucid's rear speakers, Alpine CDA-7893R & KCE-865B, Muz's saddlebag, Windscreen Light, Modifry's glove box organizer and lots of Zaino!

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      • #4
        Ours runs over $2 right now.
        Dave
        now - '59 white MGA
        past - '01 S2000 (nine years), four other MGAs, Spitfire, Stag, 63 Vette

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