Alistair Maclean's Web Site
Oil Price Data

Trends in Oil Prices

Months of data to display

Crude Oil Prices
Comparison of Prices of Gasoline and Crude (in gallons)
Spreads across Refined and Unrefined

Comments & Explanations

The data here is taken from public website pages once a day at 4am EST. I do occasionally change the source, but generally over the last 24 months it has been Bloomberg data. The data is stored in a database. I have about 5 years of data.

The Crude prices are per Barrel (bbl), while the NY Harbor gasoline price is per gallon.

The first graph shows Crude Oil prices. The second a comparison of Texas Light Sweet to gasoline (the crude converted to gallons). The third graph shows the spreads between unrefined crude's and the refined gasoline.

The spread between a bbl of gasoline and a bbl of Texas light sweet crude is the refiners cut.

Info on where oil comes from in the world (to the USA) can be found here [Department of Energy website]. This identifies that using 2003 numbers, only 20% of US Oil imports came from the Middle East. While the US has limited its exposure to Middle East politics,it has opened it to other issues, such as current Venezuelan dislike of US policies, and Nigerian oil strikes.

Current Issues

This is my personal take on some of the issues affecting oil prices and how that may influence the oil price [Up, Down, etc].

Short Term

  • Fairly stiff winter across the northern States (up)

Long Term

  • Global economic situation (DOWN)
  • New President, and a new less aggressive approach to foreign affairs (down)
  • Iraq War duration and Iraqi oil production shortfalls (Up)
  • OPEC production cuts (Up)
  • Inability of US politicians to get their act together and sort out domestic exploration issues (Up)
  • Growing interest in Alternatives (Energy conservation, Biofuels, Emissions controls, Alternative sources) (down)

Summer 2010

The Oil commodities market seems to have stabalised quite a bit in recent months. The price of oil seems to be more closely tied to economic vicissitudes. That said, it may still be a little high - those speculators can't forget the good times they had in 2008!

The current mess in the Gulf is not going to have an impact on Oil prices in the near term, but a block on deep water exploration, and no let up on the bans in on-shore and shallow water drilling, will impact prices in the future - years on from now.

AM. June 2010

Data contained here is from various sources, including Bloomberg and CNN. Presentation © A. Maclean 2005 - 2010
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