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Posts Tagged ‘petroleum prices’

Fuel Prices Slide in Time for Independence Day Holiday

But fuel still up from a year ago.

by on Jul.02, 2013

Fuel prices are still near $4 in some parts of the country, notably including California.

Here’s something U.S. motorists can celebrate: U.S. fuel prices have taken a sharp tumble over the past week, dipping below $3.50 a gallon on average across the country, just in time for the Independence Day holiday.

That’s not to say we won’t see many service stations jacking up prices to take advantage of holiday travelers, a 4th of July tradition as familiar as hot dogs, apple pie and fireworks. But the latest weekly survey from the Energy Information Administration finds that a gallon of regular has tumbled to $3.496, down from $3.577 just a week ago.

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The downward trend comes in line with earlier forecasts by the EIA that prices of crude oil and refined petroleum products would generally favor consumers in the months ahead. That reflects ongoing concerns about both the U.S. and Chinese economies, as well as weak demand in Europe.


Gas Prices Fall to Barely $3 Gal. in Some Markets

Unexpected spring decline could stick for some months.

by on Apr.08, 2013

You're getting a break at the pump, this week.

If your wallet is still hurting from the painfully high fuel prices much of the country experienced over the winter there’s some good news next time you head to the pump.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas has dipped to just $3.58, a three-cent dip since late last week, 15 cents from a month ago, and 36 cents off of what the typical American motorist was spending this time in 2012. That’s a sharp turnaround from February when some states saw gas surge to near or all-time records, particularly along the West Coast.

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Buyers are still paying an average $4.359 in Hawaii and $4.027 in Washington, D.C., but California is back under the $4.00 mark, at $3.998, according to, a well-respected fuel price tracking service. And it’s down to $3.286 in Montana – where motorists are paying just $3.261 in Billings. Some reports indicate that the price has dropped below the $3.00 mark in a few Rocky Mountain communities near to major refineries.


Fuel Prices Likely to Hold Steady this Year

But that doesn’t ease the pain as prices spike early and hard.

by on Feb.22, 2013

Fuel prices are up in an unusually early spike, but federal analysts predict things will level off at the pump for the rest of 2013.

Gas prices have taken some big jumps in recent weeks, rising an average of about 45 cents since this time last month.  There are pumps now pushing past the $5 mark in parts of Southern California, and some speculators are betting the traditional, seasonal spikes could come earlier and faster than normal, with fuel reaching record levels in 2013.

Don’t count the folks at the U.S. Energy Department among them. If anything, the DoE actually anticipates gasoline prices for 2013 will hold flat or even slip a bit, despite recent spikes blamed on speculation and refinery closings.

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There are already some signs traders fear they have over-stretched. And the slow and uncertain pace of the economic recovery – along with continuing economic issues in Europe and China – may ease demand that would otherwise drive up petro-speculation.


It’s Driving Season. Why are Gas Prices Tumbling?

After spring run-up, U.S. motorists are catching an unexpected break at the pump.

by on May.30, 2012

Fuel prices have tumbled 27 cents a gallon since their early April peak and the trend is downward.

It wasn’t all that long ago that American motorists were being greeted with shrill headlines forecasting $4, even $5-a-gallon gas by summer.

It certainly seemed plausible after the rapid run-up during late winter and early spring, prices at the pump coming within pennies of the all-time record set back in July 2008.  But a funny thing happened just as the traditional driving season approached: fuel prices began to tumble and the downward trend may well continue through the summer.

Over the Memorial Day holiday various tracking services showed that fuel prices dipped to around $3.65 a gallon, about 27 cents lower than their national peak in early April.

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“Had you asked me back in January if the national average would have been that low on Memorial Day, I likely would have chuckled,” said Patrick DeHaan, a senior analyst with  Looking forward, he told, “prices could go either way,” depending upon a variety of factors, though for now, the trend appears to be downward.

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Relief at the Pump: Oil Prices Slip Below $100

Will fuel prices fall before summer break?

by on May.07, 2012

Declining oil prices are showing up at the pump.

While it’s not officially the summer travel season, American motorists are getting a bit of a break as oil prices continue to dip, benchmark crude falling below $100 in recent days and taking another tumble in the wake of the political shake-up in Europe.

Crude prices have fallen nearly 15% since peaking in late winter and with U.S. motorists driving less even as inventories rise the equation suggests prices could keep falling.  Adding to the downward momentum: sluggish job growth and other weak economic news.

According to the AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report, prices have been falling steadily in recent weeks and are now down almost 16 cents since early May for a gallon of self-serve regular unleaded.  Diesel prices, on average across the country, have dipped about eight cents.

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Nonetheless, there are plenty of reasons to remain concern, the International Monetary Fund recently warned.  Pointing to the ongoing debate over Iran’s nuclear program it issued an advisory cautioning that, “in case of supply disruptions, oil prices could increase by $20 to $30 a barrel. A cut in Iranian exports could be exacerbated by below average oil stocks in many countries.”


Oil Prices Plunge – and Could Bring Relief at the Pump

Threat of new global recession and lowered demand.

by on Aug.05, 2011

Crude oil prices have plunged but it remains to be seen how fast consumers will reap the benefit.

You may be out of work but at least you may be able to save money when you fill up the tank to drive to your next job interview.

Crude prices continued to slip on Friday, with some markets slipping to barely $86 a barrel from the year’s $115 peak set in May.  That reflects increasing jitters about the economy both here and abroad – such fears driving Wall Street traders into a frenzy, on Thursday, with a 512-point fall on the Dow Jones Index, the ninth-worst ever.

For the oil industry, the possibility of a double-dip recession raises concerns about demand for petroleum, both for manufacturing and for transportation purposes.  With the U.S. economy stuck in the doldrums there has been a steady decline, in recent months in the number of miles American motorists have been clocking.

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Declining oil prices don’t always – or immediately — result in lower payments at the pump, though industry analysts say that wholesale prices – what gasoline retailers are charged – have dipped by as much as a dime in recent weeks.


Energy Execs See Big Increases to Come in Oil Prices

Two-thirds see petroleum topping $120 a barrel.

by on May.20, 2011


Expect to be paying more for what's pumped out of the ground, oil industry execs warn.

Weary Americans will likely see prices at the pump continuing to soar, according to a survey of 550 energy industry executives, though not necessarily to the record levels of mid-2008.

Nonetheless, with 64% anticipating crude oil will reach $121 a barrel this year – about 20% more than it’s been trading at lately – that will almost certainly mean more pain at the pump, where U.S. motorists are now paying an average of around $4 per gallon for self-serve regular.

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As might be expected at a time when the Mideast is in turmoil, Western economies are showing new signs of instability, and emerging markets are demanding a bigger share of the barrel, oil prices are more unstable than they have been in years – a fact reflected in the results of the survey by the KPMG Global Energy Institute.

While a third of the executives predicted oil prices will peak between $121 and $130 a barrel, another third see even higher prices coming.  A full 17% foresaw a high of as much as $140, while 9% thought oil would reach a peak of $150.  On the fringe, 6% thought crude would go even higher.


Buyers Flock to Gas Station Offering $1.10 a Gallon

Owner says it was a mistake, wants more money.

by on May.18, 2011

It's been a long time since U.S. motorists paid $1.10 for a gallon of gas.

With fuel prices surging to near-record levels, it’s understandable buyers look for any bargain they can find, especially in California, where motorists typically pay more than almost anywhere else in the country.

A number of smartphone apps and Internet services have been created to help savvy drivers find a deal – which might normally mean a savings of a nickel or dime a gallon.  But word-of-mouth drove long lines to form outside one suburban Los Angeles gas station when drivers realized they were being charged just $1.10 a gallon.

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While some vendors have resorted to huge promotional discounts – or even to get back at a competing service station nearby – that wasn’t what owner Kenny Nguyen had in mind.  In fact, he didn’t even realize what was happening at his Valero station in Wilmington, initially.


Oil Plunges – Have Gas Prices Peaked?

Petro traders see barrel dip below $100.

by on May.06, 2011

Has the run-up in oil prices peaked?

Maybe $5 gas isn’t so inevitable, after all – at least not for now.

Oil prices have taken their sharpest skid, this week, since the price plunge of late 2008, leading some analysts to predict that pump prices are also heading down – perhaps to $3.50 or lower – in the weeks ahead.

The unanticipated slide, which saw a barrel of crude trading for less than $100 on Thursday, follows reports that the nation’s economic situation has worsened.  Economists were wary that if oil kept climbing the U.S. might find itself slipping back into recession.

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The decline comes as President Barack Obama has stepped into the picture, asking his administration to look into potential market manipulation. During a visit to an Indianapolis hybrid transmission plant, today, the president is expected to discuss ways to further bring down prices at the pump – which had just nudged the $4.00 a gallon mark, nationally, before the petro slide.


Obama to Outline Plans for Dealing With Oil Prices at Indy Parts Plant

Allison Transmission plant produces hybrid systems for buses and truck.

by on May.05, 2011

Pres. Obama during a visit to the Chevy Volt plant.

President Barack Obama is expected to address the issue of rising oil prices, on Friday, during a visit to a parts plant in Indianapolis that produces fuel-saving hybrid systems for buses and trucks.

The president is hoping to maintain the momentum offered by the weekend take-down of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden as he tackles one of the toughest issues facing the nation today.  With job growth faltering, some analysts believe near-record fuel prices are threatening to push the U.S. back into recession.

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Obama last week announced his goal of increasing domestic oil and exploration and production, while making automobiles and trucks more fuel-efficient and encouraging the switch to electric and other forms of alternative propulsion.

But the steady increase in fuel prices, now nearing $4 a gallon nationwide – and $5 in a few key markets, like Southern California – is becoming a short-term political liability.  At the current rate, oil industry analysts say, a gallon of regular could soon top the July 2008 all-time peak of $4.11.  And some are forecasting the figure may hit $5 before leveling off.