The Peak Oil Crisis: Week
By Tom Whipple
Thursday, 03 May 2007
For three months now, US gasoline stockpiles have been dropping steadily. Nationwide, gasoline prices jumped 10.2 cents a gallon last week to an average of $2.97 and $3.46 around San Francisco.
Last week, US gasoline stockpiles dropped for the 12th straight week by another 1.1 million barrels as US motorists continued to burn up gasoline at a rate 1.6 percent higher than last year. While refinery utilization at 88.3 percent is still well below what is needed to build up stocks for the summer driving season, refiners did manage to produce another 300,000 barrels of gasoline per day which reduced the pace at which gasoline stockpiles have been dropping; 1 million barrels last week vs. the 4 million barrels per week we saw earlier last month. US imports remained the same last week at 1.2 million barrels per day, also well below the 1.5-1.6 required to build up stockpiles for the summer.
As has been the case for many weeks, gasoline consumption continues to run above last year, a series of refining problems have kept gasoline output well below the utilization needed to build stockpiles, and the US seems to be