The recent crash in oil prices has set the stage for the most-anticipated OPEC meeting in years on Thursday. As oil-producing powerbrokers prepare to gather in Vienna, the Financial Post and Calgary Herald this week present Oil Pressure, a look at the forces buffeting, and buffeted by, the new oil world order. Today, the ties that bind Canada’s economic fate to energy prices.
The state's average gasoline price, though down 5.5 cents from a week earlier, is still higher than during Memorial Day weekend 2008. Analysts say this summer's outlook is difficult to predict.California drivers will pay record gasoline prices over the Memorial Day weekend but could get relief in the weeks ahead — unless more unplanned refinery outages occur.
In the heady days of the commodity boom, oil-rich nations accumulated billions of dollars in reserves they invested in U.S. debt and other securities. They also occasionally bought trophy assets, such as Manhattan skyscrapers, luxury homes in London or Paris Saint-Germain Football Club.
Now that oil prices have dropped by half to US$50 a barrel, Saudi Arabia and other commodity-rich nations are fast drawing down those “petrodollar” reserves. Some nations, such as Angola, are burning through their savings at a record pace, removing a source of liquidity from global markets.
The weather is crappy. It’s freezing, it won’t stop snowing, and natural gas is spiking.
Yes, you read that correctly…
Natural gas — the cheapest of the cheap fuels — is starting to get a little more expensive. Natural gas prices jumped more than 5% during yesterday’s session, pushing prices to levels not seen since late 2011. This morning, it’s close to cracking $5.
Dubious record alert: American gasoline prices just set an all-time high for February, according to AAA. The average price of gas in February was $3.65 per gallon, 10 cents higher than the previous record for the month set just last year.