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At the same time, refiners have seen the same headlines as everyone else about job losses and consumer spending. They've slashed production just to avoid taking losses on gasoline no one will buy. Result: Higher gas prices.
"Why should a refiner produce more gasoline when the stuff we produce is not being used?" Drevna said.
Drivers are being ripped off even more now than before," said Stuart Pollok, who was filling up recently at a Chevron station in downtown Los Angeles. He pointed out Exxon Mobil Corp. reeled in billions in profits last year when oil prices neared $150.
Others see the conspiracy reaching higher.
The benchmark for crude oil prices is West Texas Intermediate, drilled exactly where you would imagine. That's the price, set at the New York Mercantile Exchange, that you see quoted on business channels and in the morning paper.
Right now, in an unusual market trend, West Texas crude is selling for much less than inferior grades of crude from other places around the world. A severe economic downturn has left U.S. storage facilities brimming with it, sending prices for the premium crude to five-year lows . . .
. . . That foreign oil sells in some cases for $10 more per barrel — and that doesn't even include shipping.
Brent North Sea crude, which feeds some East Coast refineries — and therefore winds up at many gas pumps around America — now costs about $7 more per barrel than the West Texas crude. Deutsche Bank analysts say the trend should continue.
Originally posted by whaaa
Ever wonder why gas in Mexico is a dollar cheaper a gal. than in the states?
Mexico's costly subsidy for gasoline is becoming even more expensive for the government as global oil prices soar, putting pressure on public finances. What will Mexican President Felipe Calderon do? Will he be forced to curb or eliminate the subsidy? If he does, what would be the economic and political repercussions?