Oil prices: When record-breaking becomes a problem

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, officially reported on March 1st that domestic gasoline prices have reached the second largest one week increase since 1990CAP’s Valeri Vasquez has the story.

The cost of a single gallon shot up 19 cents between Monday, February 21st and Monday, February 28th. It’s a jump exceeded only by the week that Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc across the Southeastern United States, spurring a 46 cent increase.

Closing out at $3.38 per gallon for regular grade gasoline, the landmark week fell short of the record $4.11 per gallon retail price set in July 2008. But that high price is not far off. Ongoing political turmoil in the Middle East could well push the cost of crude oil much higher, as the EIA explains:

Many factors affect retail gasoline prices, but changing prices for domestic and global crude oils are particularly important”¦.  A $10 per barrel change in the spot price of crude oil translates into about a 24 cent per gallon change in the retail price of gasoline within about two months.

Given that the price of Brent crude oil has risen from $93 to $112 per barrel since January, Americans may be in for some difficult months ahead.

Valeri Vasquez, CAP Energy Team Special Assistant.

10 Responses to Oil prices: When record-breaking becomes a problem

  1. dp says:


  2. ryan says:

    Geopolitical Disruptions: Building a Theory of Disruptions to Oil & Resource Supply

  3. Lore says:

    The price of a barrel of oil will still bounce around a bit as demand destruction once again takes hold, but like climate change we will be seeing higher lows followed by higher highs. Until at some point it becomes obvious that supply cannot meet even the lowest level of conservation.

    We are fast approaching that time as OPEC is stretched to meet shortfalls with quality crude oil replacement. It’s also a mystery as to how much crude oil the world’s biggest supplier does have. We haven’t discovered a major oil field since the 1970s and new discoveries and extraction from smaller fields can barely keep up with those older fields in decline.

    Alternatives are too little too late and even with all the hype in technologies that allow us to turn the Bakken shale fields filled with kerogen into oil, it lacks size and scalability.

    Most people haven’t even begun to realize the world of hurt we face.

  4. nikos says:

    The cost of the oil cost is very high at the moment!its crazy this what is happening all over the world! they try always to find some excuses every day for a higher oil cost!

  5. Barry says:

    Venezuela just passed up Saudis and Albertans as the world’s biggest proven “oil” reserves.

    The peak in cheap oil is past. But the peak in “oil CO2” is way too far out in the future to help save us from climate meltdown.

    As Hansen points out, most of the remaining coal and unconventional fossil fuels must stay in the ground forever. Peak “conventional” oil is just fuelling an even dirtier surge in “unconventional” oil.

    Will “Generation Toast” do anything to save themselves from their parents’ oil addiction?

  6. J Bowers says:

    Just tried to post a link to a new Guardian story on Texas activists and landowners fighting TransCanada and their pipeline. It’s in their Environment section:

    Texas activists ready to fight over $7bn oil pipeline in the home of black gold

    “US landowners along the proposed route – from Alberta to the Gulf coast – accuse oil firm TransCanada of bullying”

    (posting with links has gone a bit weird)

  7. Will Koroluk says:

    The Harper government in Canada appears poised to slash its climate change initiatives, which are already hopelessly inadequate.

    Read the last paragraph.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Will Koroluk, #7, Harper is an ultra, even by US Tea Party standards. The Right just keeps throwing up more and more extreme ideologues, as the evidence against their worldview grows. What comes after Harper? Something even worse, possibly incubating inside a Rightwing think-tank even now.

  9. Richard Brenne says:

    Mulga (#8) – Yeah, incubating like the flu virus in the WWI trenches that came home with soldiers and caused tens of millions of additional victims.

    But now we’ll be talking billions, not millions.

  10. Richard Brenne says:

    Obviously oil and thus gasoline prices aren’t nearly high enough, especially in the U.S., when every time you go anywhere (mostly walking, biking and taking alternative transportation) you can find someone idling completely unnecessarily, creating mega-localized as well as globalized pollution.

    And as with smoking, no one ever benefits from this highly carcinogenic second-hand smoke.

    Every type of driving and pollution should be reduced as quickly and as much as possible, but in terms of pure evil, truly an idling car is the devil’s plaything.