Sandy Shore

Oil rally continues despite discouraging jobs data

A surprising increase in the number of unemployed Americans wasn’t enough to stall oil’s momentum today as it cruised to a 26-month high. Benchmark oil settled up $1.19 at $89.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It’s the second time in les…  More »

Oil rally continues despite discouraging jobs data

A surprising increase in the number of unemployed Americans wasn’t enough to stall oil’s momentum today as it cruised to a 26-month high. Benchmark oil settled up $1.19 at $89.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It’s the second time in les…  More »

Oil prices advance on positive economic data

Oil prices surged today amid positive economic reports in China and the United States and hopes that a plan is in the works to ease Europe’s debt problems. Benchmark oil for January delivery gained $2.64, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $86.75 a barrel on…  More »

Oil prices advance on positive economic data

Oil prices surged today amid positive economic reports in China and the United States and hopes that a plan is in the works to ease Europe’s debt problems. Benchmark oil for January delivery gained $2.64, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $86.75 a barrel on…  More »

Oil prices advance on positive economic data

Oil prices surged today amid positive economic reports in China and the United States and hopes that a plan is in the works to ease Europe’s debt problems. Benchmark oil for January delivery gained $2.64, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $86.75 a barrel on…  More »

Oil prices dip amid lingering European debt concern

Oil prices rose nearly 4 percent during November as European debt problems tempered some hopes for improving demand that sent prices to a two-year high nearly three weeks ago. Benchmark oil for January delivery gave up $1.62 to settle Tuesday at $84.11…  More »

Oil prices dip amid lingering European debt concern

Oil prices rose nearly 4 percent during November as European debt problems tempered some hopes for improving demand that sent prices to a two-year high nearly three weeks ago. Benchmark oil for January delivery gave up $1.62 to settle Tuesday at $84.11…  More »

Oil prices dip amid lingering European debt concern

Oil prices rose nearly 4 percent during November as European debt problems tempered some hopes for improving demand that sent prices to a two-year high nearly three weeks ago. Benchmark oil for January delivery gave up $1.62 to settle Tuesday at $84.11…  More »

Oil prices dip amid lingering European debt concern

Oil prices rose nearly 4 percent during November as European debt problems tempered some hopes for improving demand that sent prices to a two-year high nearly three weeks ago. Benchmark oil for January delivery gave up $1.62 to settle Tuesday at $84.11…  More »

Oil prices dip amid lingering European debt concern

Oil prices rose nearly 4 percent during November as European debt problems tempered some hopes for improving demand that sent prices to a two-year high nearly three weeks ago. Benchmark oil for January delivery gave up $1.62 to settle Tuesday at $84.11…  More »

Oil prices dip amid lingering European debt concern

Oil prices rose nearly 4 percent during November as European debt problems tempered some hopes for improving demand that sent prices to a two-year high nearly three weeks ago. Benchmark oil for January delivery gave up $1.62 to settle Tuesday at $84.11…  More »

Post-holiday pump prices should slide

Motorists should see pump prices slide again after they spending a little more to fill their tanks over the Labor Day weekend.

The national average for a gallon of unleaded regular was $2.682 today, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. That’s 0.5 cent higher than a week ago and 9.9 cents higher than a year ago. In Houston today, drivers paid an average of $2.456 a gallon.

Drivers in the West, Illinois and New York state saw the highest prices over the weekend, ranging from $2.794 to $3.525 a gallon. The lowest prices were in Texas, parts of the Midwest and the South.

Analysts expect retail prices to fall now that the summer driving season has ended with plentiful supplies still in storage. In addition, consumers are watching their dollars carefully as unemployment remains high.

“Demand probably did pick up a little bit going up into the holiday, which probably kept the prices up there,” PFGBest analyst Phil Flynn said.

The price of crude and other energy products retreated as fears about the global economy resurfaced following reports that European banks may have more risky government debt on their books than previously thought.

Benchmark crude for October delivery fell 51 cents to settle at $74.09 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Wall Street Journal reported that EU stress tests of 91 banks in July understated some lenders’ holdings of potentially risky debt. The Financial Times said Germany’s top 10 banks will have to raise as much as $135 billion to meet new capital requirements.

Abundant supplies of oil will pull prices down over the next two months, with fewer drivers on the road and the winter heating season still to come, MF Global analyst Andrew Lebow said.

In other Nymex trading in October contracts, heating oil rose 1.70 cents to settle at $2.0743 a gallon, gasoline gained 1.34 cents to settle at $1.9329 a gallon and natural gas lost 8.7 cents to settle at $3.852 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude rose 87 cents to settle at $77.74 on the ICE Futures exchange.

 More »

Houston gasoline price falls 3 cents

Fort Worth has the cheapest gasoline in Texas today at $2.454, and Houston is No. 2 at $2.46, down 4 cents in Fort Worth and 3 cents in Houston from a week ago. The highest price remains in El Paso at $2.708, that’s 2 cents cheaper than it was last week.

The overall cost of gasoline dropped 3 cents this week in Texas as motorists prepare to hit the road for the Labor Day holiday weekend. Gasoline prices have been falling for weeks, and they could go even lower as autumn’s leaves begin to drop.

The weekly AAA Texas gasoline price survey released Thursday showed that a gallon of unleaded regular fuel was at $2.52. That’s 6 cents more than it was on the same date a year ago on Sept. 2, 2009.

The auto club statement says holiday travel is expected to increase 9 percent in the state as the year’s summer travel season ends.

The national average for a gallon of unleaded regular was $2.681 on Friday, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. That’s 6.6 cents lower than a month ago and 8.5 cents higher than a year ago.

The national average has stayed below $3 a gallon for nearly two years, and most analysts think it won’t return to that level anytime soon.

“We’ve got gasoline supplies moving higher rather than lower so until we get unemployment down, you’re just not going to see much of an increase in gasoline demand,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates.

The government said Friday the jobless rate rose in August to 9.6 percent from 9.5 percent in July. High unemployment means fewer commuters on the road. Combined with a glut of supply and the end of the summer driving season, it also means retail gas prices likely will continue to slip.

The last time the retail gas price was at or above $3 a gallon for most U.S. drivers was in October of 2008 after a busy summer season when prices topped $4 a gallon.

When the economy showed signs of recovering from the recession this year, experts predicted pump prices would top $3 by Memorial Day. But the price peaked at $2.92 a gallon in early May as fears about the pace of the economic recovery intensified and consumers conserved cash.

Figuring out what causes pump prices to move is a little like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube puzzle. They are closely linked to crude oil, supplies, demand, where you live and the time of year.

Drivers on the West Coast, and in Alaska and Hawaii see higher pump prices than the rest of the country because of delivery costs, taxes and local pollution regulations. Motorists in Gulf Coast states tend to pay less because they live closer to refineries.

The highest prices for most drivers usually occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when demand picks up as vacationers join commuters and commercial drivers on the roads.

Summer gasoline blends, intended to reduce smog, can tack 10 to 15 cents a gallon onto the price, PFGBest analyst Phil Flynn said. When the switch to winter gasoline specifications occurs, it tends to lower prices.

Gasoline demand increased this summer but didn’t return to pre-recession levels as many Americans stayed closer to home and took shorter trips. Pump prices ranged between $2.70 a gallon and $2.80 a gallon while crude prices were between $70 a barrel and $83 a barrel.

Meanwhile, oil inventories hit the highest combined levels in 27 years, according to Cameron Hanover energy consulting agency.

“If you look at the next five years, there’s no reason to believe that gasoline will ever be in short supply like it was prone to be from, let’s say, 2003 to 2007,” said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service.

While an improving economy with more jobs would be good news, it also could mean higher prices. Most experts believe oil will have to range between $80 and $100 a barrel before motorists will see a $3-per-gallon national average.

Several analysts say that likely won’t occur until next spring, just ahead of the summer driving season, barring a hurricane that interferes with Gulf of Mexico production.

“You really need to see a turnaround in housing prices and a turnaround in jobs to justify higher, sustained (oil) prices above $80 right now,” oil trader Stephen Schork said.

In the energy markets Friday, crude prices retreated after an early jump when the unemployment report was issued. Ritterbusch attributed the reversal to the ongoing concerns about a glut of supply and sluggish demand.

Benchmark crude for October delivery fell $1.44 to $73.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other October contracts, heating oil fell 3.01 cents to $2.0322 a gallon, gasoline slipped 3.23 cents to $1.8893 a gallon and natural gas added 8.5 cents to $3.836 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude fell $1.31 to $75.92 on the ICE Futures exchange.

 More »

Watch those gas pumps: Prices expected to fall more

Gasoline prices have been falling for weeks, and they could go even lower as autumn’s leaves begin to drop.

The national average for a gallon of unleaded regular was $2.681 today, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. That’s 6.6 cents lower than a month ago and 8.5 cents higher than a year ago. In Houston today, drivers paid an average of $2.460 a gallon, down from $2.464 Thursday.

The national average has stayed below $3 a gallon for nearly two years, and most analysts think it won’t return to that level anytime soon.

“We’ve got gasoline supplies moving higher rather than lower so until we get unemployment down, you’re just not going to see much of an increase in gasoline demand,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates.

The government said today the jobless rate rose in August to 9.6 percent from 9.5 percent in July. High unemployment means fewer commuters on the road. Combined with a glut of supply and the end of the summer driving season, it also means retail gas prices likely will continue to slip.

The last time the retail gas price was at or above $3 a gallon for most U.S. drivers was in October of 2008 after a busy summer season when prices topped $4 a gallon.

When the economy showed signs of recovering from the recession this year, experts predicted pump prices would top $3 by Memorial Day. But the price peaked at $2.92 a gallon in early May as fears about the pace of the economic recovery intensified and consumers conserved cash.

Figuring out what causes pump prices to move is a little like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube puzzle. They are closely linked to crude oil, supplies, demand, where you live and the time of year.

Drivers on the West Coast, and in Alaska and Hawaii see higher pump prices than the rest of the country because of delivery costs, taxes and local pollution regulations. Motorists in Gulf Coast states tend to pay less because they live closer to refineries.

The highest prices for most drivers usually occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when demand picks up as vacationers join commuters and commercial drivers on the roads.

Summer gasoline blends, intended to reduce smog, can tack 10 to 15 cents a gallon onto the price, PFGBest analyst Phil Flynn said. When the switch to winter gasoline specifications occurs, it tends to lower prices.

Gasoline demand increased this summer but didn’t return to pre-recession levels as many Americans stayed closer to home and took shorter trips. Pump prices ranged between $2.70 a gallon and $2.80 a gallon while crude prices were between $70 a barrel and $83 a barrel.

Meanwhile, oil inventories hit the highest combined levels in 27 years, according to Cameron Hanover energy consulting agency.

“If you look at the next five years, there’s no reason to believe that gasoline will ever be in short supply like it was prone to be from, let’s say, 2003 to 2007,” said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service.

While an improving economy with more jobs would be good news, it also could mean higher prices. Most experts believe oil will have to range between $80 and $100 a barrel before motorists will see a $3-per-gallon national average.

Several analysts say that likely won’t occur until next spring, just ahead of the summer driving season, barring a hurricane that interferes with Gulf of Mexico production.

“You really need to see a turnaround in housing prices and a turnaround in jobs to justify higher, sustained (oil) prices above $80 right now,” oil trader Stephen Schork said.

In the energy markets today, crude prices retreated after an early jump when the unemployment report was issued. Ritterbusch attributed the reversal to the ongoing concerns about a glut of supply and sluggish demand.

Benchmark crude for October delivery fell 42 cents to settle at $74.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In other October contracts, heating oil fell 0.5 cent to $2.0573 a gallon, gasoline slipped 0.21 cent to $1.9195 a gallon and natural gas added 18.8 cents to $3.939 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude lost 26 cents to $76.67 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

 More »

Oil futures creep above $75 a barrel

Oil prices ended higher today after an initial retreat as investors put a positive spin on reports about jobs, manufacturing and home sales.

Benchmark oil for October delivery rose $1.11 to settle at $75.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices dropped as low as $73.11 earlier in the session.

Meanwhile, the national average for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline was $2.676 on Wednesday, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. That’s about 5 cents less than a month ago and 7.4 cents higher than a year ago. In Houston today, drivers paid an average of $2.464 a gallon, down from $2.468 Wednesday.

The Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week, but are still above levels in a healthy economy.

The National Association of Realtors said the number of Americans who signed contracts to purchase previously owned homes rose 5.2 percent in July. That was 19 percent below the same month last year and home sales remain at the lowest level in more than a decade.

One brighter spot: Factory orders rose 0.1 percent in July, indicating some industrial growth.

PFGBest analyst Phil Flynn said the numbers were mixed, and he thinks many energy traders are waiting for Friday’s monthly unemployment report, a key indicator, to get a clearer picture of the economy.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of caution ahead of those numbers,” he said.

Natural gas prices fell after the government said inventories increased by 54 billion cubic feet to about 3.106 trillion cubic feet last week. The total was 6.3 percent lower than year-ago levels but about 5.8 percent more than the five-year average.

Natural gas for October delivery lost 1.1 cents to settle at $3.751 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In other Nymex trading in October contracts, heating oil added 2.12 cents to settle at $2.0623 a gallon and gasoline gained 3.25 cents to settle at $1.9216 a gallon.

In London, Brent crude rose 58 cents to settle at $76.93 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

 More »
Page 1 of 3123