posted on Jan, 3 2009 @ 10:59 PM
First off, I just found this site today, trying to figure out what the next generation of weapons might be. Some of this DARPA stuff you boys are
talking about is pretty amazing.
Anyways, in regards to the price of fuel on the west coast, I can answer that one. I work in the fuel industry, and have to monitor the market daily.
Without getting to long winded, as I am prone to do, you have a number of refineries in turn around for seasonal maintenance, and you had a major
one's FCC go down, and a couple more limping along. The US has five fuel markets, the west coast is called Padd V. You will here that term
sometimes on Wednesdays when they report each regions supply numbers. All regions trade on a differential to the NYMEX. The NYMEX is the market that
we all see on the news. The west coast gasoline market was trading at a -12 cent differential to the east coast. After the refinery issues, and some
seasonal market supply occurrences we are at a +36 cent differential. Even at the increased prices it is hard to get some products out here because
of the numerous boutique fuel markets.
In regards to OPEC, no one in the industry is really taking their statements seriously. My understanding is that OPEC has leveraged their countries
and economies on high priced crude. Because of that, they really can't afford to cut production. To many member nations will likely cheat on their
quotas. The real or more important mid-term concern is well head cost. The cost to get the oil out of the ground. Break even costs on some of the
west coast wells is around 39 dollars a barrel. I have heard that the new Russian well head costs are above 50 dollars a barrel, and in the 80's if
you account for the cost of capital.
My prediction for the upcoming year is an average barrel of crude running around 55-65 dollars a barrel. Should the economy continue to shrink we
could certainly go lower. Each market will experience its own problems though. While there are more to cite, a major example is Flying J filing for
Chapter 11. They own two refineries. That is a lot of barrels a day for a market to make up in a short period of time.
Sorry if this was too long winded, hope it helps answer the question.