It's an issue of supply and demand, owner of Jackson Oil Company Charles Jackson said in explanation of the increase of gasoline prices, up 19 cents per gallon more than last week.
"We have 5 percent of the known reserves and 25 percent of the demand," Jackson said.
East Coast retail prices the first week of April were indexed at $2.18.5 for regular and $2.29.9 for super, an increase of approximately 65 cents compared to this time last year. West Coast prices were $2.39.8 and $2.54.1, respectively.
According to "This Week in Petroleum" released by the U.S. Department of Energy, the approach of summer season makes it a near certainty that spot gas prices will see further changes, with or without the underlying crude oil prices. The cost for supplying summer blends increases along with the demand due to vacation travel.
Pump prices rise two to three cents a gallon for every one-dollar per barrel increase. If prices had kept up with inflation, gas would cost over $3 per gallon today.
Sims Lloyd, executive director of the South Carolina Petroleum Market Association, said, "When it comes to crude, them that has the crude are making the money right now. Marketers at the retail level are losing money. The public perception is they are making money. You can't increase prices on the street fast enough to cover costs sometimes."
He added that people are beginning to have to prioritize their needs: Do they trade their gas-guzzler in for a hybrid car? Do they ride the bus?
Annie Rini, coordinator for the Pee Dee Transportation Authority, said the company has not seen a marked increase in riders yet.
Lloyd said the rise in crude prices also comes at a time when the public has less disposable income to spend inside the store, which is where the retailer begins to realize his costs.
Crude has steadily risen since 1999. Not that many years ago, crude was $22 to $28 per barrel before trucking. Enumerable factors go into the price for crude, including world demand, OPEC actions and political uncertainty.
Stringent government specifications add processing costs to the gas you buy at the pump. Costs for vapor recovery, refining, marketing, storage and transport are only a few of the added costs to the basic gallon of gas.
For more information, please read the Apr. 14, 2005 edition of the Cheraw Chronicle/Chesterfield Advertiser.