LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – A longtime Lubbock fuel station company has added more than half a dollar to its price boards in less than a week.
“We’ve been selling gasoline since 1949, and we’ve never experienced back-to-back increases like we have the last four or five days,” Charles Bolton, co-owner of Bolton Oil Co. LTD., said. “It’s been astronomical. In fact, we’ve actually had a 53-cent increase in the last five days.”
Bolton told KCBD those price costs come to the company each afternoon, and they change the boards at midnight.
“When that price comes across, that directs what you’re going to have to do for the next day of business, especially if it goes up more than what you actually make on that product,” Bolton said. “We can stomach some of that increase. But, when you get 15,16,18 cents [a day], that makes a big difference.”
The national average price of a gallon of regular gas reached an all-time high of at least $4.12 in the United States on Monday, according to GasBuddy. Not only was the record of $4.10 set in 2008 surpassed, but the most significant 7-day average increase of 49.1 cents also eclipsed the 49-cents weekly increase from 2005 following Hurricane Katrina.
“It has been absolutely staggering to watch the pace of increases,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said. “The pace of increases wasn’t exactly surprising given the jump in oil prices.”
De Haan said the supply of Russian oil had been curtailed due to sanctions on the country, which has invaded Ukraine.
“The problem is that global consumption is nearly 100 million barrels a day,” De Haan said. “The problem is that Russia is a significant producer of about 10 million barrels a day of oil production. Suddenly, with the loss of Russian oil, the balance has been significantly tipped in a way that we have never fully been seen before.”
Oil prices have gone as high as $130 a barrel, especially as the United States has hinted at the possibility of banning Russian imports of oil.
“There’s a lot going on with the White House and the discussion of putting sanctions directly on Russia’s energy sector,” De Haan said. “Keep in mind gas price increases will likely continue at least through the first part of this week. We could see them start slowing down by the end of this week.”
However, De Haan expects high prices to continue for months, and the national average could reach $4.25.
“This is when Americans need to band together to cut our fuel consumption,” De Haan said. “It’s a good time to go out and check your tire pressure. The simple things are starting to make a profound impact on how many miles you’ll get out of that tank of gasoline.”
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