Quick Stats

Quick Stats

    You are here

    Midwest Market Stable

    No large changes expected at the gas pump.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Back in April, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) cited a lot of uncertainty about consumption depending on how long the war in Iraq lasted.

    However, when the EIA predicted higher summer gasoline prices, it blamed a four-month run-up in the price of crude oil. It guessed that summer gas prices for a gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline would be 17 cents a gallon higher than nationwide averages of $1.39 in 2002.

    That would put prices about where they were in the summers of 2001 and 2000, $1.56 and $1.53 respectively. The national average stood at $1.51, according to the AAA Hoosier Motor Club. Mid-June prices were $1.66 a gallon in both 2001 and 2000.

    Some stations in Muncie were selling gas this week for nearly $1.40, a dropoff of as much as 15 cents from the week before.

    "My guess is this is about as low as we are going to see it," said Jay B. Ricker, owner of about two dozen Ricker's Convenience Stores in Madison and Delaware Counties. "But I don't think we'll see gas go up much more this summer unless something crazy happens overseas, or there is a big refinery fire."

    According to Ricker, makers had made the shift to costlier fuels for ozone-sensitive areas at a time when costs typically spike whether you need the greener blend or not.

    "There is still uncertainty in the Gulf," said Maggie McShane, director of the Indiana Petroleum Council, which is affiliated with a trade association representing major refineries. "We are not dependent on Iraqi oil any longer, but OPEC is committed to keeping crude in the $28-a-barrel range and they could tighten up once Iraq's oil fields are back in production."

    Still, she said prices in the Midwest jumped around a lot, reacting to big-box stores that sometimes used gasoline as a loss-leader to attract customers to their stores.

    "If you think the price is too high, drive on by," she said. "It may be lower down the road, and it is the only price posted in numbers 2 feet high." The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted higher summer gasoline prices, estimating a gallon of self-serve, regular unleaded gasoline would be 17 cents a gallon higher than nationwide averages of $1.39 in 2002.

    That would put prices about where they were in the summers of 2001 and 2000, $1.56 and $1.53 respectively. The national average stood at $1.51, according to the AAA Hoosier Motor Club. Mid-June prices were $1.66 a gallon in both 2001 and 2000.

    • About

    Related Content

    Related Content