Yesterday, I put another $20 worth of gas in the old Jeep with local pump prices still the same as its been the last couple of months — $3.99 a gallon for regular.
Still high, but steady, though, horrifying for some US peoples, who will spend a record $490 billion on gas by year’s end — $100 billion more than last year — which will put a crunch on daily living.
From a report by the New American Foundation (via USA TODAY): “Significant numbers of people told us they’re cutting back on food,” says Lisa Margonelli, the foundation’s director of energy policy.
And a Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday notes the national average at $3.47 a gallon was up 5 cents, while here in California, the average is $3.82, also up a nickel.
(Illustration found here).
And the root of gas — oil — is acting weird again.
From liveoilprices: ICE Brent crude oil futures for December 2011 delivery ended the weekâ€™s trading session at $109.65 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.
Meanwhile, WTI was also acting crazy: US Light crude oil futures for December 2011 delivery ended the weekâ€™s trading session at $87.40 a barrel on the NYMEX.
Nothing stays the same — except for oil companies.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips will reap billions more than they did in the third quarter of 2010 because of higher oil prices.
Brent crude — the European benchmark that companies use to price the other crudes and refined products they produce — rose 46 percent from the third quarter of last year to an average of $112.09 a barrel.
That increase, the result of unrest in the Arab world, is likely to boost earnings at Exxon and ConocoPhillips by more than 30 percent, and by about 80 percent at Chevron, compared with a year earlier.
Chevron’s profit is expected to see a bigger leap because the bulk of its production consists of oil and internationally traded liquefied natural gas, which sell at more profitable levels than cheaper natural gas extracted and sold in the U.S.
In total, the three oil giants are forecast to earn about $20 billion in net profits in the third quarter. ConocoPhillips is scheduled to report earnings on Wednesday; Exxon on Thursday, and Chevron on Friday.
And that’s ‘net profits‘ — nothing heavy.