Drivers might soon see relief at the pump, analyst says

Skyrocketing gasoline prices may soon hit their peak, giving motorists some relief at the pumps soon.

Gasoline prices have been steadily rising since the New Year as analysts warn that they will likely peak above $4 a gallon by Memorial Day. Houston drivers are $3.77-per-gallon of gas today, a rise of 20 cents since last week, according to AAA gas gauge.

However, relief might be on the way.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, told the Los Angeles Times that prices could begin to fall after the price of CARBOB, a key ingredient of gasoline, has plummeted from its February highs.

Kloza told the newspaper the plummeting price could signal California prices have peaked.

“California is often the first market in the country to peak,” he told the newspaper, “and the trend spreads from west to east. We’re still looking at more increases in prices in states east of the Rockies, but this is a notable development that should eliminate the insane predictions of $5-a-gallon gasoline.”

There are, however, some unknowns that could push prices back up at the pump.

Analysts warn that three closing northeast refineries could tighten supplies over the summer months and rising tensions with Iran could boost crude oil prices, which account for about three-fourths the cost of gasoline.

The other good news is lower crude oil prices.

Oil prices are trading at a nearly one-week low after new reports suggested rising U.S. stockpiles and Saudi Arab officials said they would be able to offset any shortfall caused by Iran sanctions.

President Barack Obama also discussed tapping the U.S. strategic reserve during his meeting in Washington yesterday with Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron. Democrats have urged him to tap the reserve to help lower prices at the pump, but analysts have said in the past that it will likely cause little change.

Gasoline prices could still edge up close to the $4 mark, but they shouldn’t hit the $5 predictions of some analysts and energy leaders.

Some Houston drivers already got some relief at the pump.

More than 375 drivers got 15 gallons of gasoline for free as part of a Shell giveaway on Wednesday.

46 Comments

  1. TheRealRick

    Thank the Lord for this? I have gotten to that point again to where if it’s not on the way, I’m not stopping.

    #1
  2. tboyinhouston

    Speculators control 80% of the oil market. It’s no wonder gas prices are so high.

    #2
  3. Ridge

    “Gasoline prices could still edge up close to the $4 mark”

    So how is that relief exactly?

    #3
  4. Rollinac

    What a ridiculous article. Gas prices are not going to go down until OIL PRICES start to go down. That will never happen as long as Obama is in the White House.

    #4
  5. SaltWaterCroc

    It’s all Obama’s fault! Actually, as the article suggests, the issues are: closing refineries, Iran sanctions, stockpiles (some supply and demand influence), and speculators. Now, if y’all could tell me where the President can influence those prices, I would like to know. The US production makes up a small part of the worldwide supply, and Keystone wouldn’t impact prices for years, and then not downward.

    #5
  6. Jeff S

    How much do the three closing refineries in the NE actually refine? Listening to the pundits, you’d think they refine ten million barrels each.

    #6
  7. HT

    Sure! After going up $1.00/gal in about two months, it will drop 3 cents by summer…That will be “our relief”

    #7
  8. BubbaT

    Get the traitors out of Washington and we’ll see lower gas prices.

    #8
  9. cobiamike

    Tell us the truth….. that Obama is once again tapping our strategic reserves.

    #9
  10. bubbabobcat

    So now that gas prices are going down, Obama deserves the credit since he was blamed for it rising, right? You can’t have it both ways just to continue your irrational hate.

    #10
  11. SL

    Of course he has some, but not a large amount, of control. He’s just a failed leader and doesn’t want to do anything to help anyway because he wants gas prices to skyrocket to push his green agenda instead of just letting the market do its thing with that.

    #11
  12. tsujones

    I would suggest we ban ignorant commenter’s who provide no insight into the real problem. There more wells being drilled in the USA now than during any of George the 1st or George the 2nd’s terms. That is a fact. Nobody want s address TBOY’s comment regarding 80% of oil market being controlled by speculators. I read that 60 cents from of every gallon of gas or goes directly into the pocket of rich investors. Think about that subsidy to the rich. I read that T.Boone Pickens went from 20 million to 3 billion dollars in wealth by buying and holding oil delivery contracts.
    that nothing more than ransom.

    #12
  13. msyellarose

    Is anyone else as tired of these “analysts” and “speculators” as I am?

    #13
  14. Ready for November!

    What a joke of a title for an article. Are prices going to make it back close to what they were when this joke of a president took office? That would be relief, a 3 or 4 cent drop is not. The policies pushed by this administration have contributed greatly to the problem. The fact Odumma tries to claim that under him we have increased production is nothing more than lies intended for the ignorant that support him. Production has only managed to increase due to it being on private and state lands, production has decreased in the gulf and on federal lands. His own energy secretary is on record stating he supports America emulating European energy prices.
    Wake up people- vote this idiot and his minions out of office!

    #14
  15. ElJuanSancho

    Of course Obubba will tap the strategic reserves, it an election year and he needs to keep up the charade that he is fixing everything.

    #15
  16. clrob

    same as last year….gas will back around 3.15 a gallon in a few weeks…too bad that won’t fit into the conservative agenda

    #16
  17. Joe Dokes

    . . . . please don’t tap the strategic reserve for political hay . . . we’ll never be able to afford to replace withdrawals . . . . drive less, waste less; stay out of the drive-thru . . . .

    #17
  18. indiggity indig

    intelligently designed urban areas with safe and maintained sidewalks, bike trails, and mass transit subways/trains are a good start. reduction of reliance on hydrocarbons for individual transportation, as above, will ultimately increase the supply/delivery contracts and lower the prices of oil. oh and keep buying hummers, escalades, suburbans, that mainline gasoline. all for you ego…remember, it’s important that other drivers and your neighbors know you’re addicted to gasoline. mmmmm…good.

    #18
  19. DOn Moel

    Sigh……..Everybody is still ignoring the 800 lb gorilla..The reason gasoline (not to mention diesel fuel) is so high to two-fold; assinine environmental regs courtesy of the EPA and a lack of refining capacity, also courtesy of the EPA. Think back folks…in March 1996, crude oil was nearing $60 a barrel and gasoline was around 85 cents a gallon, diesel in the 60 cent range; now crude oil is not quite doubel the price, but fuel prices are up more than 400%!! The “Clean Air Act” of 1990 had some good provisions in it, but for the most part has done more harm than good. Scores if not hundreds of small independant refiners were put out of business by this flawed piece of legislation, and recently more than 600,000 barrels of production was removed from the market because the refiners couldn’t bear the cost of new regulations imposed by the out of control EPA.
    Releasing oil from the strategic reserve will do little to affect the price at the pump…kind of akin to using a band-aid & asprin to treat a gun shot to the head.. the answer ia not “drill, baby, drill, but “build refineries, baby, build refineries!! The last new refinery built in this country was in 1976….that’s right!! 36 years ago….True there have been and are expansions at existing plants but the increasedproduction will barely cover what was lost this year. Wake up folks…we need to harness the EPA & have a full review of ALL of it’s rules & regulations, scrapping those that can’t demonstrate effictiveness, and forbidding any new regulations without a congressional vote (most of the more onerous ‘rules were passed internally, without any approval). Just recently, the Agency decided against issuing an ‘ultra low sulfur’ requirement for gasoline….for now!! The same requirement for diesel fuel effectively raised the price at the pump by 60 to 80 cents over the past couple of years….

    #19
  20. Oscar Juan Carlos

    Of course prices are going down – the president is threating both his banking buddies who set the price and oil companies that can’t make production quotas because of the EPA.

    #20
  21. James

    I do not blame or credit Obama for anything. He and Michelle are just living his lavish lifestlye on my taxes like Juan and Eva Peron doing nothing for the country. His is an incompetent president elected by mindless, media brainwashed people who drank the Koolaid and could not think for themselves.

    #21
  22. Dan X. McGraw

    Ready for November, gasoline prices won’t likely return to the Pre-Obama days unless their is another recession. The U.S. recession caused crude oil to tumble around $40 per barrel. As of today, it is trading over $100. Since it is three-fourths the price of gasoline, it’s tough to see how it would get to $1.87. We will have more on the Obama claims tomorrow — hopefully.

    #22
  23. Dan X. McGraw

    Don Moel, we’ve said this several times of FuelFix before: crude oil prices are a global traded commodity. The president, the oil companies and any federal agency have little to no effect on price of crude oil, which is about three-fourth the price of gasoline. The EPA regulations have likely added costs and cut into profit for refiners, which likely has some impact for consumers. However, you can hardly blame the EPA for the high gas prices.

    As for 1996, crude oil prices were not $60 a barrel. They average about $20 a barrel. Since then, the global market for crude oil prices has vastly change. Emerging markets — i.e. China, India and etc. — have been growing demand for crude and caused prices to rise. For example, crude oil prices jumped from $20 in 1996 to $50 by 2005.

    Analysts are agreement about the strategic reserve. It won’t have a huge impact on gasoline prices. They will eventually rebalance themselves.

    #23
  24. IPIS E'EVERYWHERE

    oYEAH……If the prices get any higher i will definitely be relieving myself AT THE PUMP!!!!!

    #24
  25. bubbabobcat

    Ready for November!
    March 15, 2012, 10:12 AM wrote,
    “Production has only managed to increase due to it being on private and state lands, production has decreased in the gulf and on federal lands.”

    Speaking of “lies intended for the ignorant”, that is the fourth time in less than a week I have seen that false meme (re: LIE) parrotted by uninformed right wingers. Did Limbaugh command you to repeat that ad nausem?

    The truth is permits have been issued, but it is the drilling companies who are not doing their part in “drilling on Federal lands”.

    “The Bureau of Land Management issued 4,090 drilling permits in fiscal 2010, but oil and gas operators drilled 1,480 new wells, using about 36 percent of permits issued.

    “The downturn in drilling on public lands is purely a function of internal corporate decisions and declining natural gas prices.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/01/13/13greenwire-two-thirds-of-federal-oil-and-gas-drilling-per-13123.html

    Try getting your facts straight and providing proof of them before you criticize anyone else on their veracity.

    #25
  26. Dan

    Yawn … fuel prices are run up and down by speculators out to screw the public and get rich doing it. Y’all just stay bent over at the gas pump – the only thing that will come down is your pants!

    #26
  27. deaconknowgood

    Hmmm…Free gas from Shell.
    Tell me Shell, what’s in your other hand?

    #27
  28. Bart-1

    March 15, “Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, told the Los Angeles Times that prices could begin to fall after the price of CARBOB, a key ingredient of gasoline, has plummeted from its February highs.”
    DanX, Isn’t this the same guy who predicted gas prices would ceiling out at $3.75 antionally and would NEVER reach $5 a gallon back in February?

    Mar. 15 “AAA-The surge in gasoline prices now squeezes middle-income families again as President Barack Obama approaches the election. Gasoline prices are up almost 17 percent, or 54 cents, this year through March 14, according to the American Automobile Association.” http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-03-15/rising-u-dot-s-dot-gas-prices-temper-middle-income-gains-amid-campaign

    “bubbabobcat
    March 15, 2012, 9:20 AM

    So now that gas prices are going down, Obama deserves the credit since he was blamed for it rising, right? You can’t have it both ways just to continue your irrational hate.

    “The national average rose a meager 3 cents over the weekend to $3.80.

    “With a likely peak in gasoline prices still as much as two or more months away, the national average for a gallon of gasoline has already hit the bottom of the range that we projected,” said Patrick DeHaan, a GasBuddy.com analyst.” http://fuelfix.com/blog/2012/03/12/gasoline-prices-skyrocket-over-the-spring-break-weekend/

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/1/obamas-dishonest-energy-promise/

    #28
  29. Bart-1

    http://fuelgaugereport.aaa.com/?redirectto=http://fuelgaugereport.opisnet.com/index.asp
    LOL “gas prices are going DOWN?! Who is “factually challenged” again?

    #29
  30. lefty71

    how man permits has been approved for offfhsore drilling since Obama took office? Under any permits approved by the present adm is not producing any oil yet. Saying offshore production is up is misleading at the least.

    #30
  31. Bart-1

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/17/news/economy/gas-prices-aaa/
    Gas prices rise for 8THSTRAIGHT DAY! This is what the Obamatons refer to as “gas prices have dropped”.

    #31
  32. Chris Jordan

    OH REALLY? How old is this article? I paid $4.39 for regular last week. Oil was $105. barrel yesterday and $107.barrel this morning. California has been over $4. a gallon for a while!

    #32
  33. Ted

    SaltWaterCroc
    March 15, 2012, 8:26 AM
    “…Actually, as the article suggests, the issues are: closing refineries, Iran sanctions, stockpiles (some supply and demand influence), and speculators. Now, if y’all could tell me where the President can influence those prices, I would like to know.
    ——————
    His comments about ending subsidies (which they’re not) causes speculators to change their positions, that’s how.

    #33
  34. Ted

    indiggity indig
    March 15, 2012, 10:34 AM
    “…intelligently designed urban areas with safe and maintained sidewalks, bike trails, and mass transit subways/trains are a good start. reduction of reliance on hydrocarbons for individual transportation, as above, will ultimately increase the supply/delivery contracts…”
    ————–
    …and blah blah blah… So what about plastic? You know, like the computer you’re using and everything in your house and what you’re wearing is made out of plastic from oil. We still need it, more now than ever…or you can move to the woods and live in a shack and shoot your own food like most did before oil was processed.

    #34
  35. Ted

    tsujones
    March 15, 2012, 9:46 AM
    ‘I would suggest we ban ignorant commenter’s who provide no insight into the real problem.”
    ———————
    Can we start with you?

    #35
  36. Bill

    tboyinhouston
    March 15, 2012, 8:17 AM
    “Speculators control 80% of the oil market. It’s no wonder gas prices are so high.”
    ———————
    That’s not what any of you said when Bush was in office and gas went up. Why the change? Did you read a book? LOL!

    #36
  37. bubbabobcat

    Bart-1 don’t flatter yourself. I posted a response the moderator chose not to publish.

    #37
  38. Bart-1

    “Gas prices are falling” Yeah, sure you did scaredycat (rolls eyes)

    #38
  39. Bart-1
    #39
  40. bubbabobcat

    Resubmitting in response to continual infantile, factually challenged taunts.

    Bart-1, YOU are the one that is consistently fact challenged and you have proven that yet again. My comment that “Gas prices are going down” is NOT the same as your patently false and grammatically inconsistent and incorrect statement in quotes that “gas prices have dropped”. No one but you have claimed incorrectly that prices have already dropped.

    But keep grasping at straws in a pathetically failed game at oneupsmanship bart. By the way bart, didn’t you claim that Obama would not have US troops out of Iraq by the end of last year? And didn’t you claim that Obama voted for the war in Afghanistan in 2001 as an Illinois STATE Senator?

    You really shouldn’t criticize anyone else’s failed prognostication bart. It only highlights your own hypocrisy more saliently.

    #40
  41. Bart-1

    Ah yes, “falling” and “going down” is a HUGE difference! LOL crawl, baby, crawl

    #41
  42. bubbabobcat

    Still not even close to “gas prices have dropped” which you INCORRECTLY claimed I said verbatim. It is a huge difference. Not that I would expect you to know since facts and reality are not your strong suit. Or grammar for that matter. You do know that “have dropped” is past tense (as in a done deal) right?

    #42
  43. Bart-1

    bubbabobcat
    March 15, 2012, 9:20 AM

    So now that gas prices are going down,
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/03/doe-gas-prices-climb/1#.T2fwYlIsEvE

    #43
  44. bubbabobcat

    Determined to get that last word in, even though you were wrong as usual bart? What part of I did not say “gas prices have dropped” can you not understand considering all comments are still posted for you to see and be proven wrong again?

    #44
  45. Bart-1

    You claimed “gas prices are falling as I CORRECTLY quoted you from the start. The FACT that you attempt to semantically spin “Are falling” with “have dropped” just shows how pathetically unable to admit you were wrong. Look at this chart little boy and tell me how they are DROPPING? Don’t bother playing your spin word games, just show how they “are dropping”. Support your claim. http://fuelfix.com/blog/2012/01/26/gasoline-prices-rise-in-texas-houston/

    #45
  46. Bart-1/seriouscynic/usincrisis wrote March 22, 2012, 9:21 AM

    “The FACT that you attempt to semantically spin ‘Are falling’ with ‘have dropped’ just shows how pathetically unable to admit you were wrong.”

    The fact that you are so grammatically illiterate that you cannot differentiate past from present tense just shows how pathetic you are.

    And why are you linking an outdated article from 2 months ago to pathetically bolster your claim?

    #46