(Oil Topic) OPIS alert: More price increases and allocations ahead.

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

***EIA PROJECTS MORE GASOLINE HIKES, POSSIBLE SHORTAGES The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) today warned that retail gasoline prices may go up another 30cts gal or more as there is little margin for error in U.S. motor fuel inventories. EIA had projected that gasoline prices might peak at about $1.56 gal this Summer, which would be about 5cts gal above the most current OPIS survey of more than 100,000 stations across the country. But in testimony before Congress today, EIA petroleum division director John Cook warned that "unplanned refinery outages, import delays, or demand increases can create price surges" that would be well above the official forecast. Another 20- 25cts gal surge could lead to average nationwide prices of $1.80 gal, the agency warned. An OPIS survey released this morning shows that nationwide prices currently average just under $1.52 gal. OPIS' own estimates indicate that only 60-70% or so of Year 2000 wholesale costs have been passed on at retail, so prices could rise by 10-20cts gal even if spot and wholesale prices stabilize. Today's comments by the EIA could lead to more clamor for sales out of the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Cook also told Congress that refiners need to increase crude inputs by about 1-million b/d in March and April in order to build refined products' stocks. There is some question whether such higher processing rates are possible given the tight state of world crude oil inventories. - Tom Kloza, tkloza@opisnet.com

-- Wine-O (123@4.com), March 09, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ