More oil. . . or else!

Amy Scott May 11, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: A report out today gives OPEC a stern warning: Start pumping more oil before the summer. Otherwise, oil reserves will plummet and prices will go sky high. This is the third month in a row the International Energy Agency has urged OPEC to open up the taps. Oil’s trading at $62 a barrel this morning. As for gas prices, they seem to be marching to their own beat. Amy Scott reports.

AMY SCOTT: This week the average gasoline price $3.05 a gallon — a near-record.

And the government warns prices probably won’t dip too far below the $3-mark through the summer.

That’s despite a relatively quiet market for crude oil. Tim Evans is an energy analyst with Citi Futures. He says these days what you pay at the pump doesn’t have much to do with the global oil market.

Recent refinery outages helped trigger the latest spike. And Evans says peak demand during the summer driving season may keep prices high.

TIM EVANS: Right now it’s very much about how much gasoline our refineries can produce and whether consumers are going to try to conserve gasoline.

If you’re not quite ready to leave the car in the driveway, Evans says try slowing down. At 65 miles per hour on the highway instead of 75, he says you’ll burn about 20 percent less fuel.

In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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