LI gas prices expected to keep rising
Gasoline prices rose further on Long Island in the past week, by almost a dime a gallon, and seem likely to go higher, one expert says.
"Unfortunately for the East Coast, I see prices continuing to rise by another five cents and as high as 10 cents with no relief in sight until after Labor Day," said Andy Lipow, president of Houston consulting company Lipow Oil Associates Llc.
After declining for almost three months, prices began rising just before the Fourth of July holiday on rising crude oil prices and what analysts said were tight supplies on the East Coast of the less-polluting but difficult-to-produce summer grade gasoline required by clean air laws.
The U.S. benchmark grade of crude oil, which has traded as low recently as $77.69 a barrel on June 28, has been rising on a variety of factors, including indications that the European Union might be on the road to solving the continent's government debt crisis and the expectation that governments of the United States, Europe and China will take further steps to spur their respective economies, increasing demand for energy.
U.S. crude oil rose above $90 a barrel Wednesday for the first time since May on the New York Mercantile Exchange, but fell back to settle at $89.87, up 65 cents from the previous day's close.
For East Coast drivers, another factor in rising pump prices has been the closures late last year of four refineries that supply summer blend "reformulated" gasoline to the region -- two in the Caribbean and two in Pennsylvania. One of the Pennsylvania refineries, in Trainer, has been purchased by Delta Air Lines and is to resume operations after renovations -- but probably too late to affect gasoline supplies this summer.
Refineries in Europe and elsewhere in the United States are attempting to make up the shortage, but not all are equipped to produce the less evaporative summer gasoline.
With Bloomberg News