Volatility will be the name of the game for fuel prices in the coming years, according to one local energy expert. Neal Brandt, general manager of STAR Energy, said that while the factors driving energy costs are complex, they are also very interesting - and extremely important.
Gas prices continue to be important to Americans. According to the Petroleum Marketing Association, the sharp increase in gas prices last summer was the second biggest story for newspapers and TV stations.
"It's a cost of living or doing business that nobody can avoid," Brandt said. "Everybody is impacted by the cost of gasoline, diesel fuel and propane."
Supply and demand is the crucial force behind costs in all three of the major categories, Brandt said. Energy infrastructure, from refineries to distributors, also play a role.
"What will happen with energy prices based on figures today?" Brandt asked.
Looking at crude oil inventories for 1999 and 2000, Brandt said current levels are well below last year's, and are below the five-year average as well.
Read the rest of this article in the 12/28 Pilot Tribune.