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Uh-oh! Gas prices are on the rise. Late Friday afternoon, January 30, gas prices at three Cardiff by the Sea stations — Valero, Chevron, and USA — shot up six cents a gallon more than the price reported around noon by gasbuddy.com.

Over the past month in Escondido — traditionally the low-price gas leader for San Diego County — several independent stations and chains (Costco, a 76, and three ARCOs) have been engaged in a gas war, posting penny-by-penny fluctuating prices, getting as low as $2.09/gal.

By 8:00 p.m., the Escondido low-priced stations all raised their prices four to nine cents a gallon, according to gasbuddy.com.

Reuters News Service reported the seven-month, nationwide downward spiral in oil prices stopped in late-afternoon trading on January 30. Oil prices surged 8 percent — up $4.00 a barrel. It’s the biggest one-day gain since 2009.

Reuters reported the cause of the price spike as the industry’s reduction of U.S.-based oil rigs, down 7 percent in the past week; and “reports of Islamic State militants striking at Kurdish forces southwest of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.”

The three stations in the county that are still charging over $3.00/gal. did not raise their prices. But numerous stations around the county hovering in the $2.90 range raised their prices to the $2.99 9/10/gal. threshold.

According to gasbuddy.com, only eight states now report falling gas prices, less than a penny a gallon. The rest of the states were either static or raising. The highest trending rise is in Indiana and South Dakota, both oil-producing states; the average price in Indiana went up 12 cents a gallon in the past few days.

According to the state’s Division of Natural Resources, oil production declined in Indiana by 25,000 barrels — 8.3 percent — between September and October of last year (the last reporting period).

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Comments

Visduh Jan. 31, 2015 @ 8:52 a.m.

Ken, hasn't this seemed too good to be true, or at least too good to last? We can hope that after a modest rise, the prices will stabilize for a while somewhere below $3 a gallon. For something as integral to the functioning of modern civilization, the price of petroleum and its refined products sure do gyrate. That suggests market manipulation, not a free market. For a long time that price of over $100 a barrel seemed artificially high, and when that finally broke it came down too far too fast. Yes, let's all let out a huge sigh.

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Ken Harrison Jan. 31, 2015 @ 2:11 p.m.

The real issue is that every drop of American oil is brokered on the world market. American oil should go to American's first. At whatever price the market will bear. Then sell the surplus, I have no problem with oil companies making money. Combined local, state, and federal governments make more $/gal than any oil company does.

I had a Sinclair dealer in L.A. (Yes there really are Sinclair Green Dinosaur stations in SoCal - 7 of them) that when prices go down, the oil companies already have a predetermined price that it will rise back up to - 25 cents/gal more than before it dropped.

What amazes me is that it took a little under a month for prices to go down 10 cents/gal., and then in one night, those reductions are gone.

None

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AlexClarke Jan. 31, 2015 @ 3:57 p.m.

Is anyone really surprised? If gas prices remain low the oil companies can not afford to go after the hard to get oil and the Keystone pipeline is less attractive. Then there will be the refinery shutdowns for maintenance and the ubiquitous fires that always seem to happen. The higher the price of oil the more the oil companies can drill all in the name of lower prices which if prices go lower they can't afford to drill. Sounds like a circular firing squad.

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Ken Harrison Jan. 31, 2015 @ 6:52 p.m.

AlexClarke - you pegged it exactly. The refinery "maintenance" shut downs are a California problem, with only three refineries in the state. This is why we are always either the third or fourth highest gas prices in the country, that and we are always the highest taxed per gallon. Hawaii and Alaska are always highest priced #1 & #2, with New York, Washington, DC, and California vying for the next highest.

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RusselRay Jan. 31, 2015 @ 11:26 p.m.

Ken Harrison - Where do you get "only three refineries in the state"? Reliable sources indicate there are 16 to 18. Here's one source: http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pnp_cap1_dcu_sca_a.htm

And here's one list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_refineries#California

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Ken Harrison Feb. 1, 2015 @ 8:27 a.m.

RusselRay - You are absolutely correct, and I had no idea. But should have, as I've traveled by most of these on the list you provided. Perhaps it is three major oil companies that control them, where I may have incorrectly perceived that number. As you probably know, the point is, when one closes for "maintenance" the price of Calif. gas spikes upward.

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