Posted by Administrator on 1/22/2011
to Local News
SEATTLE King5 Report -- New reports out this morning show demand for oil and gas is up according to American Petroleum Institute (API) and some analysts say that could mean paying more at the pump, .
Friday API announced total U.S. petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) were up 1.2 percent in December against the same month last year and up 2.3 percent for 2010 compared with 2009, evidence the U.S. economy continues to gain momentum. Both gasoline and diesel deliveries were up for full year 2010 over 2009, gasoline by 0.6 percent and distillates by 4.8 percent. Also, U.S. refiners set a record for annual gasoline production.
Some experts are saying drivers could be paying $4 a gallon of gasoline this spring. There's also claims some experts have been under-estimating prices for months.
According to AAA, the national average for regular unleaded gas is $3.11 a gallon.
Washington state's average is higher - $3.25 a gallon. And drivers in the Seattle-metro area are paying $3.26. That's up 11 cents from what drivers were paying just a month ago.
If this spring looks like the summer of 2008, when gas prices broke 4 dollars a gallon before the recession, the concern is will drivers be able to pay 4 bucks?
"That's ridiculous. I don't know how it happens one minute we're back down to $2.87 and now creeping up to almost $4 a gallon. I don't know what causes it spike like that," said commuter Mona Shade.
"I've noticed prices go up. I have to drive to Fort Lewis for work, so it really adds up," said Matt Rasmussen, another commuter.
Experts say about half of American drivers are already cutting back on things like eating out to pay for gas.
Analysts say for every penny the price at the pump goes up, it costs consumers overall an extra $4 million dollars.
One driving factor to higher gas prices: The cold snap in the U.S. and Europe created more demand for heating oil, which lowers production of gasoline and raises its prices.