Crude oil prices have dropped to some of the lowest levels in the last 52 weeks but we are still not seeing big price drops at the gas pump. AAA Nebraska spokesperson Rose White says there is plenty of crude oil but not processed fuel. White says crude oil inventories are up about 20% from one year ago but processed fuel inventories are up only 1%. She says there is plenty of oil but it is not being processed as quickly as we may need it.
Processed fuel is currently trading at $1.76 a gallon which is significantly higher than its 52 week low of $1.23 a gallon. The commodity price does not include taxes, delivery costs and retail profit margins.
Gas prices may also soon be on the rise in some states. White says gas prices are already up 35-cents to 50-cents a gallon in some Great Lake states due to a problem at a refinery in Whiting, Indiana. That refinery may be off-line for several weeks and that may have a negative impact on gas prices in the Midwest.
White says the good news is refinery issues are usually temporary and once they start processing fuel they will be using lower priced crude oil. That could cause gas prices to drop fast. Triple-A expects gas prices to drop to the $2 a gallon mark if there are no other refinery issues by the end of the 4th quarter.