February 14, 2012: Lehigh Valley says the same thing --
American motorists have seen the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rise above $3.50 a gallon on just three occasions, but it has never happened this early in the year. Analysts say it's likely a sign that pain at the pump will rise to some of the highest levels ever seen later this year.February 10, 2012: is India's demand for oil insatiable, as the former Gulf CEO says? Read this NY Times article; the answer is obvious. In case the link breaks, this story is about India, touting US as a reliable ally, continues to buy oil from Iran despite US/EU sanctions.
In 2008, average gasoline prices had hit inflation-adjusted records nationally by the summer, but they didn't climb above $3.50 a gallon across the U.S. that year until April 21, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. It happened again last year, but not until March 6.
But $3.50 a gallon gasoline is already here in 2012, weeks before refineries typically shut down for springtime maintenance, and weeks before the states switch from their less expensive winter blends of gasoline to more complicated and pricier summer blends.
February 10, 2012: in central Massachusetts, there are some (only a few) service stations now selling premium gasoline for $4.10/gallon. In real terms, that's not all that far from $5.00. In fact, a couple years ago, making a prediction that gasoline would hit $5.00 was a bit fantastic for some to believe. But now that premium is at $4.10, it is not all that bold to predict $5.00 gasoline. If premium is $4.10 in central, rural Massachusetts, I can only imagine what some stations are selling premium gasoline for in Los Angeles, NYC, or Washington, DC.
Some suggest that gasoline will easily rise another 60 cents this spring (refinery issues, for the most part),
For some, $4.00 gasoline might as well be $5.00 gasoline. Just saying. And that explains the current data showing significant demand destruction.
This former Shell CEO has seldom been wrong. He is very direct.
He made a very, very good point about headlines that IEA is cutting its forecast for oil demand. The forecast is NOT FOR LESS demand, the forecast is for a SLOWING IN THE INCREASING RATE OF DEMAND.
Demand will continue to increase, just not as fast as originally forecast.
The former Shell CEO points out that the insatiable Chinese and Indian demand is being overlooked.
By the way, here's a reminder of what happened when oil spiked to $140; shortly thereafter, with the recession, back into the $40's.