We enter the third month the year to find a very interesting landscape for gasoline prices. For March 1, 2016, GasBuddy.com reports that gasoline prices across most of the U.S. are rising. [Ref 1] Nearly two-thirds of the nation’s 50 states saw prices rise over last week to a national average of $1.749 per gallon, the highest level in over three weeks.
Locally, Arizona’s state-wide average for regular gasoline is $1.51 with an increase of 1 ¢ over yesterday. There is more good news for U.S. motorists – we are paying an average of $0.66 less for gasoline today than we did a year ago.
With the Grand Equinox (spring) just three short weeks away, March is a transition month for most refiners as they begin switching from winter to summer blends and perform seasonal maintenance along with other planned upgrades on their facilities. This could actually boost gas prices as inventories decline and the potential for temporary gas shortages in some areas occur while this important work is being done.
In my last post on this topic, Falling Gas Prices Have Significant Impact on O&G Employment, lower prices across the board in the energy sector have had negative impacts for some industries. Last week, the Associated Press (AP) reported that Halliburton, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the global energy industry, announced that it was cutting 5,000 employees from its headcount. [Ref 2]
Halliburton spokeswoman Emily Mir said the company was reducing its workforce “due to ongoing market conditions.” Mir said the company regretted the decision, “but unfortunately we are faced with the difficult reality that reductions are necessary to work through this challenging market environment.”
When the layoffs are completed, Halliburton will have reduced its workforce by between 26,000 and 27,000 employees since the peak in 2014, she said.
This morning finds me listening to The Diane Rehm Show on NPR. And today’s topic is: What record low oil prices mean for the global economy, geopolitics and climate change. A panel of three experts has been assembled to help connect falling oil prices and record low U.S. crude supplies with the above topic.
Needless to say there are global winners and losers. Locally, Onyx, my uncle’s Portuguese terrier, is on the losing end of the stick as this important discussion is being aired during our regular exercise time slot. He should, however, experience an instant recovery when the broadcast ends.
Until my next post, happy motoring…
- Two-Thirds of States See Weekly Rise in Gas Prices, by Patrick DeHaan for GasBuddy.com, February 29, 2016, https://blog.gasbuddy.com/posts/Two-Thirds-of-States-See-Weekly-Rise-in-Gas-Prices/1715-639055-3592.aspx
- Halliburton to cut another 5,000 jobs amid oil slump, the Associated Press, February 25, 2016, http://bigstory.ap.org/article/7a159962828e4122b0a2f82bb0ccdbe5/halliburton-cut-another-5000-jobs-amid-oil-slump