Fuel’s Downward Spiral Continues

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN

Retail operators continue to dial down gasoline and diesel fuel prices at pumps across the country, as a full blown sell-off in the financial oil market amid the credit freeze and anticipation that the country, and indeed many economies around the globe will fall into a recession trigger expectations that demand for oil will tumble dramatically.

On Friday (Oct. 10), crude oil, which accounted for 73% of the cost for gasoline and 64% of the cost for diesel fuel in August, fell to a 13-month low and below $80 a barrel for the first time in 2008.

During that session, the financial contracts that serve as benchmark values for gasoline and diesel fuel traded in wholesale markets lost 22 cents and 21 cents per gallon, respectively.

View DTN’s Weekly and Historical Gas Prices

The steep price decline comes as some metro areas in Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina, continue to report low gasoline supplies that were triggered by the hurricanes in September. And on Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a waiver for the greater Phoenix metropolitan area that delays the seasonal transition to a cleaner burning gasoline used in parts of Arizona, during the winter months to lower carbon monoxide emissions because of a tight supply situation.

The tight supply condition was also triggered by the September hurricanes, with Arizona, receiving most of their gasoline supply from refineries in Texas.

About the Author
Brian L. Milne is the Refined Fuels Editor for DTN—a leading business-to-business provider of real-time commodity information services. Milne has been focused on the energy industry for nearly 14 years as an analyst, journalist and editor. He can be reached at brian.milne@dtn.com.

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