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Thread: Gas Price Pattern

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    Gas Price Pattern

    Gas prices, at least in Fairborn, Ohio, have been behaving interestingly lately.

    A pattern has emerged. Prices have been dropping slowly over several days by about 10 to 15 cents, then jumping 25 to 30 cents in a single day. This has now happened at least four times in a row. Earlier today, I made a mental note that within the next day or two, the price of gas should make a 25 to 30 cent jump.

    Sure enough, gas was 26 cents a gallon higher as I drove home than it was this morning on my way to work.

    Patterns like this in such a complicated market are highly unlikely to happen by chance. What is going on???

    I almost feel as though I am being acclimated to higher prices. If that is being deliberately attempted, it ain't working.

    If the pattern continues, I expect we will hit that magical $5 a gallon mark on Monday, 22 April, 2013

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    When the economy ramps-up, we will see 5 bucks plus...guaranteed!
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Gas is not the only commodity on the roller coaster ride of inflation. Spend more, borrow more, print more, things will cost more.
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    Gas Price Pattern

    It's a good thing the economy will not ramp up then.

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    Regular Member dmatting's Avatar
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    That sounds like a conspiracy theory!

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    Gas Price Pattern

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Gas prices, at least in Fairborn, Ohio, have been behaving interestingly lately.

    A pattern has emerged. Prices have been dropping slowly over several days by about 10 to 15 cents, then jumping 25 to 30 cents in a single day. This has now happened at least four times in a row. Earlier today, I made a mental note that within the next day or two, the price of gas should make a 25 to 30 cent jump.

    Sure enough, gas was 26 cents a gallon higher as I drove home than it was this morning on my way to work.

    Patterns like this in such a complicated market are highly unlikely to happen by chance. What is going on???

    I almost feel as though I am being acclimated to higher prices. If that is being deliberately attempted, it ain't working.

    If the pattern continues, I expect we will hit that magical $5 a gallon mark on Monday, 22 April, 2013
    ive been noticing it at a specific station, prices will creep down to $3.45 then in a few day jump back up to $4+ for diesel, stay there for a week then fall again over a few weeks them repeat. all the while oil per barrel has been stable...

    WTF???
    Last edited by PFC HALE; 02-12-2013 at 08:55 AM.
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    Regular Member dmatting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFC HALE View Post
    ive been noticing it at a specific station, prices will creep down to $3.45 then in a few day jump back up to $4+ for diesel, stay there for a week then fall again over a few weeks them repeat. all the while oil per barrel has been stable...

    WTF???
    Around here, the price of diesel remained almost constant - hovering right around within a few cent above or below $4 while gas prices dropped from $3.80 or so down to $3.30. The diesel prices finally started to go down a bit to around $3.80 after a good amount of time but now everything is on its way back up again.

    Isn't diesel less refined than gasoline? Used the be that diesel cost less than gasoline - now its always higher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmatting View Post
    Isn't diesel less refined than gasoline? Used the be that diesel cost less than gasoline - now its always higher.
    The issue is far more complicated than that, and the refining economics are in constant flux. Here's some simplistic, layman's information:

    Crude oil from different locations has different makeup. Crude from one place may be more easily refined to certain products than crude from another place. Petrochemical products also lend themselves well to conversion to other products. Traditionally in the United States, we have converted (called "cracking") gasoline to diesel, because the available crude and the relative market demands for gasoline and diesel made it far more economical to derive gasoline from crude, and then convert it to diesel to satisfy the relatively low diesel demand. Setting up refining operations to derive both directly from crude was typically not cost-effective, at least for any given refinery. This is why, in most of the country, diesel has been more expensive than gasoline for a long time. In Europe, on the other hand, the relative market demands are very different, and diesel has always had a much higher share of market demand than it has had here. As a result, it has typically been more cost-effective for European refineries to derive diesel from crude, and then crack it to gasoline. As new refineries are built and existing refineries are modernized (and as refining, itself, has advanced), the economics have changed, and the issue is more muddied than it was twenty years ago. However, it is still the general trend that, on balance, we convert from gasoline to diesel in the United States.

    At least, this is my understanding of the issue.

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    Gas Price Pattern

    Quote Originally Posted by dmatting View Post
    That sounds like a conspiracy theory!
    It would be--if I had theorized as to someone doing something. I didn't. I am simply wondering about a pattern. Such patterns are nearly non-existent in such complex systems.

    I wouldn't bother to posit a theory unless I had concrete information on specific actions. Others don't need that before coming up with a theory. To them, the question is the proof.


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    Gas Price Pattern

    ULSD or ultra low sulfur diesel if chemically refined to be cleaner thus why its more now.

    funny thing is turbo diesels are cleaner than gassers if you dont modify them to purposely smoke.
    HOPE FOR THE BEST, EXPECT THE WORST, PREPARE FOR WAR

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    I thought this kind of thing was always Pres. Obama's fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beebobby View Post
    I thought this kind of thing was always Pres. Obama's fault.
    Dude, keep up. Right now, we're blaming everything on Ron Paul. Blaming Obama is so 2012.

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    To a large extent, not entirely, it is Obama's fault for blocking a lot of sources of oil.

    But that was not the point of the thread. You brought that up. Not anyone else.

    The point of the thread is that there seems to be an inexplicable pattern to the way prices are increasing.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ()pen(arry View Post
    Dude, keep up. Right now, we're blaming everything on Ron Paul. Blaming Obama is so 2012.
    Ron Paul has no significance, so he can't be blamed for anything but his own failures.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    Anyone care to comment on the pattern? Are you observing similar patterns where you are?

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    We see the same pattern in Tennessee. I think they are just so eager to raise prices that when they hear any whisper of a reason to do it they jump on the opportunity like rabid wolves on a carcass.

    JMO, but I don't think the economy will recover, partially because if it tries to gas prices rise to the point that it suppresses the economy again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beebobby View Post
    I thought this kind of thing was always Pres. Obama's fault.

    No No No. He already passed the buck to the speculators. Waaaaay back in 2011, Remember?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...73J1NN20110420
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    It would be--if I had theorized as to someone doing something. I didn't. I am simply wondering about a pattern. Such patterns are nearly non-existent in such complex systems.

    <o>
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmatting View Post
    Around here, the price of diesel remained almost constant - hovering right around within a few cent above or below $4 while gas prices dropped from $3.80 or so down to $3.30. The diesel prices finally started to go down a bit to around $3.80 after a good amount of time but now everything is on its way back up again.

    Isn't diesel less refined than gasoline? Used the be that diesel cost less than gasoline - now its always higher.
    Here's an additional consideration over the differential between the cost of diesel and gas.

    A gallon of diesel weighs more than a gallon of gasoline. From the point of view of transporting from the loading rack to the retail location, typically a truck would be able to carry in the region of 8500 to 8700 gallons of gasoline and be a legal weight. In order to remain legal while carrying diesel that same truck would only be able to carry 7500 to 7800 gallons. The cost of transporting the fuel is going to be the same but would have to be spread over fewer gallons. A simple example,
    If transportation costs are $2000 per truckload, that would equate to roughly $0.24 per gallon for 8500 gallons of gasoline. Spread that same $2000 over 7500 gallons of diesel and it works out at roughly $0.27 per gallon.
    You might think 3 cents is nothing, but the $2000 is just an example, I don't know what is charged per truckload, I just deliver the stuff. I do, however, get advance warning that the cost is going up when my employer calls me in the afternoon and tells me he wants me to load up the trailer for the next day before I go home. In my job I mainly use 2 terminals to load up at, one of them changes its price at 6pm Houston time, the other at midnight local time. For the last 2 weeks I've been loading the trailer before going home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ()pen(arry View Post
    The issue is far more complicated than that, and the refining economics are in constant flux. Here's some simplistic, layman's information:

    Crude oil from different locations has different makeup. Crude from one place may be more easily refined to certain products than crude from another place. Petrochemical products also lend themselves well to conversion to other products. Traditionally in the United States, we have converted (called "cracking") gasoline to diesel, because the available crude and the relative market demands for gasoline and diesel made it far more economical to derive gasoline from crude, and then convert it to diesel to satisfy the relatively low diesel demand. Setting up refining operations to derive both directly from crude was typically not cost-effective, at least for any given refinery. This is why, in most of the country, diesel has been more expensive than gasoline for a long time. In Europe, on the other hand, the relative market demands are very different, and diesel has always had a much higher share of market demand than it has had here. As a result, it has typically been more cost-effective for European refineries to derive diesel from crude, and then crack it to gasoline. As new refineries are built and existing refineries are modernized (and as refining, itself, has advanced), the economics have changed, and the issue is more muddied than it was twenty years ago. However, it is still the general trend that, on balance, we convert from gasoline to diesel in the United States.

    At least, this is my understanding of the issue.
    My understanding is as follows. To understand I was trying to learn more about fuel economy conspiracy theories (eg the 200mpg carburetor). To learn if they have any merit I had to learn what our fuels were.

    In short the old gasoline formula had more energy, because it was a true octane molecule that was being used to make gasoline. However the long straight chained octane molecule did not burn cleanly in an engine leaving carbon build up and other problems. Then it was discovered that a complex (not straight chain) hexane molecule would resist auto ignition under the same (or similar enough) conditions to octane. A hexane molecule has less energy available than an octane molecule. An "octane rating" used to mean the percentage of octane in the gasoline, now it's just based on that little formula shown on the pump for an equivalent rating based on auto ignition.

    As for refining oil it's heated to varying temperatures, pressures, while being run across different catalysts to make the different products.

    Diesel was a waste product. It go the name diesel fuel after someone discovered that the vegetable oil powered engine invented by Rudolph Diesel would run on that waste byproduct. Now it's produced as a fuel.

    As for the current state of thing most of the oil we use if being used to make plastics, fertilizers, pesticides, medicine, solvents, and more. The demand for non-fuel uses far exceeds that of fuel uses. While it's true that if every got 50% better fuel economy today than yesterday the demand for oil would drop it would not be as large of an impact as many would have you believe. Gasoline and diesel are byproducts that are re-mixed and sold as a product.

    Now we will talk about refineries and the effect of the pump price. That price is what ever they think the market will bear. Part of it comes from the cost of building a new refinery set forth by the government.

    Ways to save money on gasoline/diesel? Tear the head(s) off of you engine, replace your push valves with a rotary valve and then nickle plate the inside of the combustion chamber on the head side and the face of the piston the same way. Install an air heater on the intake manifold to heat up incoming air for initial start up. Then mix your petrol with WATER at a rate of 50% by weight with a proprietary emulsifier. The resulting fuel mix with get your the same MPG as straight petrol would. The rotary valves reduce energy drain from the valve train, allow high compression without a change in fuel, and makes for cleaner crank oil. The nickle is catalyst for the petrol water mix.
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    And the pattern continues...

    I bought gas a few days ago at $3.64, thinking that, based on the pattern, we were due for about a 25 cent increase. I thought I was wrong. Prices dropped a few cents each day, getting down to $3.58.

    Nope. I was right. This morning, on the way to the base, $3.58. About two hours later, on the way home, $3.86, up 28 cents.

    Again, patterns like this do not occur in complex systems. Entropy rules.

    Where is this pattern coming from?

    That there is a pattern is not bad. I can time my purchases pretty well lately. What is bad is that the pattern is for a few small drops followed by a huge increase. If it is designed (I don't know), it is a wonderful design to get folks to go along sheepishly with increasing prices.

    The next jump should take us to right around $4. The jump after that should put us in the $4.10 to $4.15 range.

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    A general pattern of gradual price decrease, due to tit-for-tat competition with nearby retailers, followed by a sudden, substantial increase due to supplier price increases, all repeated in an endless cycle, is to be expected in any consumer-marketed supply chain system. Even were supplier price over time a perfect square wave, you would see the consumer price decay gradually, and jump suddenly, as in a reverse saw-tooth wave. This is characteristic of market pricing in any supply chain-based industry.

    Whether you've observed an anomalous, recurrent, and predictable timing to this to-be-expected "pattern" is a separate topic, entirely. I assure you, this pattern has occurred, with little variation, for far longer than you or I have been alive. It's likely you are simply more sensitive to it now that you've noticed it, and I suspect that your perception of predictable timing is a subjective observation attributable to confirmation bias.

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    Hey eye95......I think that is a pattern in your area.

    We were down to $2.99/gal until the first week of January. After that Gas rose $.20/gal, then within a week rose a dime, then a couple of weeks later it topped out at $3.59/gal. Within a 6 week or so period, we went from $2.99 to $3.59/gal. We have held that spot now for about a week. This morning, it went down $.02...it is $3.57/gal.

    There a lot of variables that go into the pricing of gasoline. Just a few consideration on the price of oil; refining issues (capacity), potential new taxes, supply v demand and different blends; just to name a few. Some cities have several different blends to ship, IIRC, St Louis has at least three blends (winter, spring & summer/fall). Our prices here have a bearing on what is being pumped through the pipelines here. We sit on three pipelines that help provide fuel for the upper Midwest (including Chicago)...when they are shoving their multiple different blends to CGI, our price usually goes up because the fuel running through the pipes are bound for CGI, not here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Again, patterns like this do not occur in complex systems. Entropy rules.
    Again:


    Care to revise that statement?
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    There is a big difference in refining oil into gas and then supplying a market with gas. When compared to refining snow flakes.
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