Friday, November 25, 2011

Gasoline Prices and Brent WTI Spread

by Calculated Risk on 11/25/2011 03:10:00 PM

According to Bloomberg, Brent Crude is down to $106.40 per barrel, while WTI is up to $96.77. The spread has been narrowing for over a month, especially following the recent announcement of a partial reversal of the Seaway pipeline to transport crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf Coast.

If the global economy really slows, oil and gasoline prices will probably fall - and probably offset some of the impact from lower exports. There hasn't been a sharp decline in world oil prices yet.

Oil PricesClick on graph for larger image.

This graphs shows the prices for Brent and WTI over the last few years. Usually the prices track pretty closely, but the "glut" of oil at Cushing pushed down WTI prices relative to Brent. Now the gap is closing (the pipeline is scheduled to be reversed in Q2 2012).

On a longer term basis, here is a little good news for Bloomberg: Renewable power trumps fossil fuels for first time

Renewable energy is surpassing fossil fuels for the first time in new power-plant investments, shaking off setbacks from the financial crisis and an impasse at the United Nations global warming talks.

Electricity from the wind, sun, waves and biomass drew $187 billion last year compared with $157 billion for natural gas, oil and coal, according to calculations by Bloomberg New Energy Finance using the latest data. Accelerating installations of solar- and wind-power plants led to lower equipment prices, making clean energy more competitive with coal.
And here is a graph of gasoline prices. Gasoline prices have been slowly moving down since peaking in early May as the shown on the graph below. Note: The graph below shows oil prices for WTI; gasoline prices in most of the U.S. are impacted more by Brent prices.

Orange County Historical Gas Price Charts Provided by