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DOE Data Suggests Oil Companies Price Fixing Diesel Fuel

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posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 01:55 PM
I found a DOE site cataloging diesel fuel prices today and made an analysis of the data. Here is a summary of my review.

Diesel fuel is historically cheaper than unleaded gasoline because it takes less crude to produce a gallon of diesel and the refining costs are lower. Diesel fuel prices have risen significantly higher than gasoline in the past several years, increasing the cost of consumer goods by driving up transportation costs. The current national average price of unleaded gasoline is $2.048 compared to $2.263 for diesel.

The US Dept of Energy catalogs historic price data and provides an illustrated breakdown of fuel costs here:

The "Diesel Price History" (, linked under the diesel pump graphic, provides some interesting insight.

The data shows that "marketing and distribution" went from an average of 7-12% historically to a current of 22%, starting in October 2008. Diesel Fuel would be $1.89/gallon right now - cheaper than unleaded gasoline by a good margin - if the marketing was somewhere around 10% instead of 22%.

Of further interest, the "marketing and distribution" skyrocketed at the same time as the Crude Oil percentage of cost went from a historic high of 65% back to normal 45-50%. In other words, the oil companies increased their markup to hold prices while crude decreased.

This strongly suggests price fixing or collusion to hold prices high; it is very strange that the market all moved together to increase their profit - typically one or two companies might try to hold but the others would pull them back to historic levels. This theory is supported by the gasoline data, which shows a brief period of 25% Marketing & Distribution charges in October 2008 followed by a quick return to normal levels.

This needs to be addressed by the President and Congress; as we struggle to revive a slow economy the oil companies continue to rake in record profits by charging unprecedented markup on fuel products.

[edit on 31-3-2009 by ChrisR]

posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 03:34 PM
check this out.... the department of energy was tasked with one job... to reduce america's need for forign oil..... well it looks like one more agency that works for them... cuz, they cant even do their number one mission... REDUCE OUR DEPENDANCY ON FORIGN OIL.... your Fired....


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