A record — US peoples spent $448 billion on gasoline since the beginning of this year, $100 billion more than 2010, which in turn, puts OPEC on pace to top $1 trillion in net oil exports for the first time, or 29 percent more than last year.
Ain’t that some shit.
Despite the surge, pump prices up here in northern California remained the same — I put $20 worth of gas in the Jeep on Saturday with the cost at $3.89 a gallon for regular, the same as the last time, though, that’s still above the state average of $3.61 a gallon, 27 cents a gallon higher than the 2007 record and 36.9 cents higher than last year.
Why the 20 cents difference, I don’t know.
The national average this past weekend was $3.29, still 31.8 cents higher than last year.
(Illustration found here).
A positive report on the growing confidence among U.S. consumers — at a six-month high — is leading an increase in crude oil prices, which will eventually fuel an increase at the pump.
Oil prices did have a slight hike — from liveoilprices: ICE Brent crude oil futures for January 2012 delivery ended the weekâ€™s trading session at $108.88 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange, or 0.7 percent higher on the day. Brent oil futures closed last weekâ€™s session (Friday 2nd December) at $110.10 a barrel.
And WTI: US Light crude oil futures for January 2012 delivery was trading at $98.66 a barrel, 08.40 GMT this morning in electronic trading on the NYMEX.
And so it goes.
U.S. gasoline demand has dropped to a 12-year low, yet consumers are paying the highest-ever prices for this time of year.
The reason: Rising global oil prices are in the driverâ€™s seat.
The paradox isnâ€™t limited to the gasoline pump. Home-heating oil users will see record-high bills, despite using less fuel, according to an Energy Information Administration forecast.
Diesel fuel prices are up 25 percent from a year earlier at record November levels, fueled by a powerful one-two punch of surging demand both in the U.S. and abroad, the EIA and analysts added.
The stuttering U.S. economic recovery, high unemployment and lofty gasoline prices all are cutting deeply into demand for the most widely used petroleum product in the worldâ€™s biggest oil consumer.
Gasoline demand in the last four weeks is down 500,000 barrels a day from a year earlier, EIA data show.
All the factors seem to be tilted toward those who are selling oil products.
“Everything weâ€™re talking about is good for the oil companies, but not so good for the consumers,” said analyst Dominick Chirichella at the Energy Management Institute.
That ugly 1 percent again.
And just five, short years ago — CNN in November 2006: The Nov. 17 Lundberg Survey of about 5,000 gas stations across the country showed the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gas was $2.23, a penny lower than the same week a year ago, publisher Trilby Lundberg told CNN. Gas prices had fallen 84 cents in the previous 12 weeks, Lundberg said. The previous survey, taken on Nov. 3, showed the average at $2.18, she said.
Back then, the future was so freakin’ bright, we all had to wear shades — since then…
(Illustration found here).
Have a more-than-mundane Monday.