Sunday, April 20, 2008

Getting used to high oil/gas prices yet?

I hope so, because it's only going to get worse from here. Currently, I'm paying ~ $3.45 a gallon for the cheap stuff (~ $55 to fill up my gas sipping Accord), but I expect we'll easily see $4 a gallon nation wide as summer approaches.

The falling dollar can be blamed for much of this price rise, but increasing worldwide energy demand, combined with supply/delivery pressures (Nigeria, Iran, etc)is making the pain worse.

These higher oil prices are already starting to, and will continue to ripple across the spectrum -- showing up as price increases in everything you buy -- a double whammy for your wallet/pocketbook.

Oil prices to head even higher says Opec chief

The secretary-general of Opec said yesterday that oil prices could rise even higher than the present record level of $117 a barrel.

Speaking at the start of the biannual conference between oil-producing and consumer countries in Rome, Abdullah al-Badri said that factors other than supply and demand, particularly the weakness of the US dollar, were pushing oil prices higher.

Many analysts expect oil to rise above $120 a barrel by the summer.

Government ministers will meet energy companies, charities and consumer groups to discuss the issue of energy prices at a fuel poverty summit on Wednesday, hosted by Ofgem.

Allan Asher, the chief executive of energywatch, a consumer watchdog, criticised the record of the Government and energy companies. “Relying on more voluntary social programmes from energy suppliers is tantamount to sticking your head as far into the sand as it will go,” he said.

“Government has to be bold enough to admit its fuel poverty strategy has been broken on a vicious cycle of price rises. Price rises on such a shocking scale would be catastrophic for consumers; 25 per cent on energy bills means another million households consigned to the misery of fuel poverty.”

Chakib Khelil, the president of Opec, said yesterday that he saw no need to raise oil production to counter high oil prices, dealing a further blow to big oil-consuming countries such as Britain and the United States. Gordon Brown and President Bush have called on Opec, which produces 40 per cent of the world’s oil, to increase its output, but Opec kept its daily output quota at 29.67 million barrels at its last meeting last month.

Last month, China imported almost 150 per cent of what it had imported the previous month. The country is building its fuel reserves for the Olympic Games later this year. Moreover, its spring planting season is under way, which is usually a time of high consumption.

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