oil prices

Oil’s Down, Gasoline Isn’t. What’s Up?

August 25, 2015
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Gas Prices graphic

A little more than a year ago, oil prices were above $100 a barrel. The national average for gasoline was in the $3.50 range. In late spring, oil was $60ish and the national average for gas was around $2.70. The price of a barrel of oil has plunged to $40 and below—yet, prices at the pump are just slightly less than they were when oil was almost double what it is today. Oil and gasoline prices usually travel up or down in sync. But a few weeks ago the trend lines crossed and oil continued the sharp decline while gasoline…

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Deepwater Horizon five years later: lessons learned

April 21, 2015
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Five years ago, following a blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers, the nation was spellbound by the 87-day visual of oil flowing freely into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from the Makonde well. The 3.1 million barrels of spewed oil has been called “the world’s largest accidental marine spill” and “the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.” Looking back, CNN reports: “There were dire predictions of what would follow. Environmentalists and others braced for an environmental collapse on a massive scale.” Indeed, there were extreme claims including one from Matt Simmons, known…

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Mid-Atlantic energy resources advance long-term energy security

March 17, 2015
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At the end of January, the Obama administration announced the next step in a long process that could result in the exploration and ultimate extraction of oil-and-gas resources of the U.S. mid-Atlantic—something the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Governors Coalition supports. On March 30, the 60-day comment period ends. If everything goes well, we could see new American resources on the market in twenty years. With the current oil oversupply, it may seem like an odd time to be going after more. However, the legal wheels that could allow limited access to the vast, untapped oil resources move very slowly. Today’s…

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What’s up with the prices at the pump?

March 3, 2015
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Arab America gas price standoff

First, Saudi Arabia drove down the price of oil by increasing its production, which gave Americans a welcome drop in prices at the pump. Could the kingdom now be pushing them back up? Prices at the pump have gone up nearly 40 cents a gallon from the January low—60 cents in California. Every year, at this time, refineries shut down to make adjustments from the “winter blend” to the “summer blend.” However this year, the increase is exacerbated. The unexpected extreme weather in the south, Bill Fleischli, executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association, explained: “caused some of the…

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Enjoy low oil prices while they last – OPEC predicts $200-a-barrel coming soon

February 10, 2015
By
OPEC rising oil prices

OPEC’s Secretary General Abdulla al-Badri made headlines when he announced that the oil price may have bottomed out—indeed, we had four straight days of increase—and predicted “you will see more than $200 when it comes to future oil prices.” Al-Badri makes a strong argument. In the current reduced-oil-price environment, we see oil companies cut back on budgets, curtail exploration, and pull in rigs—as in many places it costs more to get the oil out of the ground than the present sales price. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports: “the number of rigs drilling in the U.S. has sunk to a…

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