Gas prices probably won't reach $2 a gallongreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
Richardson said gas prices would not reach $2 a gallon at the pump this summer. He predicted that rising prices would stabilize after the OPEC meeting.
The Energy Department predicts gas pump prices may peak at $1.80 a gallon.
Joe Lockhart, the White House press secretary, said , "I think the message is that both the oil-producing nations and the oil-consuming nations have agreed that the price is too high and that we need a stable supply at a stable price and we expect that OPEC will take steps toward that goal when they meet."
White House awaits OPEC move
Richardson said President Clinton was still considering releasing oil from the 569-million-barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but the White House would wait to see what output policy OPEC adopted at its Vienna meeting.
"The test is going to be March 27, what happens then," he said. "The president has looked at any step to protect the American consumer, the American economy."
Richardson said that despite a large weekly increase in U.S. crude oil and gasoline stocks, OPEC still needed to increase its oil production to meet consumer demand.
The Energy Department reported earlier on Wednesday that U.S. crude oil stocks rose by an unexpected 4.6 million barrels and gasoline stocks increased by 4.5 million barrels for the week ending March 3.
Richardson said the administration is talking to some non- OPEC oil producers about what to do should OPEC decide not to raise its oil output enough.
Members of Congress have criticized the administration for not having an energy policy to reduce U.S. dependence on overseas oil -- imports account for about 54 percent of U.S. petroleum supplies.
Legislation to open part of wildlife refuge
About 30 senators sponsored legislation to open 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.
A joint statement issued after the meeting between Iran's Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and Saudi Arabia's Ali Naimi in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, said the ministers agreed the market volatility was not in the long-term interests of producers or consumers, reported Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency.
"The ministers agreed the current market conditions and outlook necessitate that oil producers from OPEC and non-OPEC provide adequate and timely oil supplies to balance the market," the statement read.
Zanganeh later told Iranian television that the unity of OPEC was very important and that the group should reach a decision that would not "damage" the oil market yet be beneficial to both producers and consumers.
Minister blames speculation for surge in prices
He blamed the surge in oil prices on market speculation, not shortages.
"In my opinion it is due to the speculative nature of those in the trading, They keep pushing the price up," he added.
Zanganeh said political pressure also was influencing prices, an apparent reference to U.S. lobbying attempts.
Meanwhile, oil prices dipped more than 9 percent -- their steepest in nine years -- on commodity markets, on strong signs that OPEC is about to increase production.
Gasoline prices dropped 7 percent, although it may be months before that is reflected in pump prices.
-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), March 09, 2000
Sorry, Mr. Richardson...Premium gas is already at 2 bucks here in southern California.
Nice try though...
-- Uncle Bob (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 2000.
uhhh..over $2 in Mendocino, CA for regular unleaded...over $2 for Bay Area premium...
-- INever (email@example.com), March 09, 2000.
But does CA count? Regular is below $1.50 here in the east ;-)
-- Chris (!@#$@pond.com), March 09, 2000.
If it doesn't reach $2 per gallon, I don't think it will be for the reasons Richardson has mentioned. The price for spot gasoline has gone down recently, as a reflection of the need to move the winter blends. We were told a couple weeks ago, and I haven't heard differently since then, that there will be problems meeting the new summer specs, especially for the premium octanes. Although I have seen numbers for where we stand on gasoline inventories as a whole compared to last year (a lot lower this year), I have not seen where we stand on comparable inventories for summer blend.
Bummer about opening the refuge to satisfy Washington's knee-jerk reaction to the oil crisis.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 2000.
Evidently the people at Chevron haven't spoken with Mr. Richardson. It's currently $2.09 a gallon, regular, in this area of So. Calif.
-- Richard (Astral-Acres@webtv.net), March 09, 2000.