While the market sorted itself out yesterday, I was busy trying to keep from running out of water at the Bob's Big Boy Ranch in Terry, Montana. At one point we not only had our artesian well down but our hard water well had shut down as well.
Unexpectedly, we had to make a quick trip and run out to the Terry Super Valu grocery store to stock up on bottled water. We may well be having a similar problem happening right now in the refining and petroleum business.
With crude oil being pumped out of the ground like water, any interruption will cause consumers to look for options to maintain some sense of normalcy. In our case, we almost decided to move back in with our daughter Inger and her family while the repairs were being made.
But, what do we do when we run out gasoline? We can't do anything especially when living out in the country where long distances have to be covered by car or truck every day.
This year it's all about oil refineries being able to keep up with the expected increase in demand of gasoline for the upcoming summer driving season. Petroleum traders will be concentrating on the supply issues with the biggest focus on refinery gasoline output.
On his recent trip President Obama was greeted bySaudi King Abdullah upon landing in the Middle East. He also received the unwelcome news that the Saudi Arabian Oil Company Aramco had raised their crude oil prices from $1.05 to $3.25 a barrel for shipments in July 2009. The heavy crude oil is the one at the lowest with the light crude oil selling at the highest price. All of their crude oil prices are ratcheted up or down from the posted Brent crude oil price.
Our water situation will be resolved within a day or two but gasoline prices will continue to increase throughout the summer months. Right now the Four Corners gas station in Terry still has plenty of gasoline in the tank but it is now 10 cents per gallon more today then it was a week ago.
We better keep the horses saddled up and ready just in case we will need them for back up. There may come a time when I will have start reporting the prices of hay and alfalfa instead of gasoline.