Friday, March 06, 2009

Oil Prices

Well this article goes a long way to explaining why oil is below $40/barrel and yet regular unleaded is still running $1.80 at the pumps. The answer? Oil companies and speculators are paying people to sit on it supply, mostly by paying tankers to sit on what's in their holds.

Now I can't be too pissed off about this. Because of plummeting prices the companies were drawing down crude inventories at an accelerated rate earlier this year. That (and stupid laws designed to curb "price gouging") caused shortages across the south last hurricane season. Now that the prices have bottomed, they ought to replenish those stocks as fast as possible. But I'd like those cheap prices to trickle down to me at some point. More importantly, they were running record profits for quite a while there, so it would be nice if the oil companies were willing to accept less when that's the cards they've been dealt.

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