may be the shortest month, but it concluded 2003 with some of the
largest fuel price increases on record in U.S. markets, according
to Oil Price Information Service (OPIS).
to global war worries, the Venezuelan oil strike, the first sustained
cold winter of the decade, and low inventories, average nationwide
prices for gasoline could soon surpass $1.70 a gallon, and diesel
prices could approach $1.85-$1.90 a gallon before the Ides of March.
2003 began with nationwide diesel pump prices of $1.54 a gallon,
but the month closed with a nationwide average of just under $1.80
a gallon, up 26 cents. A year ago, average U.S. retail diesel prices
were $1.22 a gallon, more than 60 cents a gallon below where they
are likely to peak this March, OPIS reported.
all types of predictions are being made about what may occur in
world oil markets the next 40 days. Already, "wartime planning
meetings" are being held among large and small companies throughout
the petroleum distribution chain, OPIS said.
is a source of U.S. wholesale, spot and retail petroleum prices,
tracking more than 85,000 daily retail gasoline prices, and 70,000
rack and spot prices for heating oil, gasoline, diesel, kerosene,
jet fuel, LP Gas, residual fuel, natural gas, MTBE and ethanol.
More than 100 billion gallons of fuel are purchased annually based
on an OPIS Price Index.