Month: May 2009

I’d hate to do this on my first post, but…

With wholesale gas prices going up again today, we are at near break even margins here in Indiana (with a little breathing room in Michigan).  Prices here in the PADD2 area are now putting us in the red when it comes to national prices on the GasBuddy color map.  Today it went up due to yet another DOE report where we are at a low 47.4 million barrels of gas, down from over 52 million barrels a couple weeks ago.  There has to be something wrong with the supply, but for now I can only give you the bad news of higher prices, not the reason for them.

There is a possibility of a spike tomorrow.  Since it would be the second in a week, something that usually doesn’t happen, there is also the possibility it won’t happen.  But be on the lookout for prices going into the $2.70s, and possibly the low $2.80s if it does go.

Introducing: Bill Eby!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009:  I am happy to announce a new writer to join me on this blog.  Indianapolis resident Bill Eby is going to start posting on The Gas Game, providing a point-of-view from the Hoosier state.  As we have seen, gas prices in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio are closely tied together, and Bill has been an effective predictor of price hikes with his posts on Indianapolis, Michigan, and Indiana Gas Buddy sites, under the name “Paxman”.  Bill works in the telecommunications industry.  Welcome, Bill!

Public Outrage Coming Tomorrow?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 3:20 PM:  I am hearing of more wholesale price craziness in Chicago yesterday and today, craziness that I don’t understand.  The consequence, though, is possibly another price hike on Thursday.  So, if you see the guy with the stick at 9AM tomorrow at Big Red, you know what you need to do.

Consumers get a spanking as prices rise to $2.69

Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 1:55 PM:  Woe to us.  Prices rose at random places on SATURDAY to $2.59, and today Speedway is making sure we understand with a system-wide re-set.  The new price in Michigan is $2.69 a gallon.  There are two separate issues here:  one is the relentless climb since April 27 (when gas was $1.99 a gallon).  The other is what happened this weekend.

The relentless climb could be just a delayed seasonal effect, as we get these moves every year in March and April, often related to the switch to summer blend gasoline.  I think, though, that after the stock market recovered from that scary low in early March, the speculators are looking to make money again and driving up wholesale energy prices is a way to do it.  I have some confidence in this observation because it isn’t that retail demand for gasoline is on the rise, and gold prices have been climbing lately, too.

As for this weekend, there are some goofy things going on in Chicago.  I learned this morning that wholesale prices went up a lot on Friday in Chicago and that’s what caused the hike to $2.69.  Now, this morning, they’ve dropped almost a dime a gallon, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll see that in our retail prices by Wednesday.  That’s a wish, not a prediction.

Congratulations, Patrick, and Good Luck!

I want to publicly congratulate Patrick on this step forward in his career.  He had been keeping me abreast of his conversations with GasBuddy, and I was anticipating when this day will come.

When Patrick joined up with me a few years ago, The Gas Game was just a hobby of mine.  Some of you may recall my article in the Grand Rapids Press in 2002, along with my web site at gvsu.edu, as examples of this hobby.  With Patrick’s hard work, thegasgame.com became something special, with a great logo; RSS, reader comments and other tools to expand access; and several other obvious and hidden enhancements that have increased the visibility of this site.  Thank you, Patrick, for all the work you’ve done on this site.

Patrick and I have gone through a lot with this site the past few years.  The explosion of gas prices from below $2 to $4.25 brought us a lot of attention, and the dizzying drop this past year back below $1.50 has been amazing, too.  Due to all the news about gas prices the past few years, the site has been noted in media from Chicago to Washington, DC.

I don’t want to make it sound like we’re done now.  I will continue to post regularly to the site, making my comments and predictions about gas prices and possible hikes.  But with Patrick moving to Gas Buddy, postings on this site will be less frequent, and, as you may have noticed, I tend to focus on connecting the price of the futures to retail prices and pay less attention to refinery issues and Speedway rewards programs.  My quiet study of diesel continues, and I expect to have something intelligent to say about diesel pricing before the end of the year.  And, perhaps I’ll get another featured writer for the site.

Ed

I’m jumping ship to GasBuddy, catch me if you can!

TheGasGame.com was started officially back in 2006, but has roots going back many more years. Ed and I started posting together here at TheGasGame after we found out about each other through GrandRapidsGasPrices.com, a GasBuddy.com site that tracks gas prices. Ed and I both had a hobby and fascination with gas prices and were posting information we hoped would help others save on gas. It’s the same reason GasBuddy.com and GrandRapidsGasPrices.com are successful- helping consumers find low gas prices. We had a mission of successfully predicting gas price hikes and have had a good accuracy rate.

A few years ago, I contacted GasBuddy about putting some charts, graphs, and other information on the site and was allowed to do so with their blessing. My interest evolved and I started the blog here with Ed thanks to GasBuddy. Time has gone by and prices have become even more unstable it seems.

This past fall and winter, the folks at GasBuddy contacted me to see if we couldn’t pool our thoughts, ideas, and passion- to help consumers find low prices and to help them understand the fluctuations in prices. As a result of those conversations, I was offered a position at GasBuddy, an offer I accepted. Beginning yesterday I am now the Lead Petroleum Analyst with GasBuddy. I am working on doing much of what I did here at TheGasGame at GasBuddy.

We’ve started some new avenues to get information out fast, such as the GasBuddy Twitter Account (follow our updates!) and a Facebook presence. These are tools in fighting gas prices and SAVING MONEY! I’d rather save it and spend it on something a bit more enjoyable than pumping gasoline!

I will no longer be actively posting here, but Ed will remain here and he may have some announcements to make. TheGasGame.com will remain the same, but I will be posting on a larger scale for GasBuddy.

I’ll be sure to give more information or links when I start actively blogging with GasBuddy, but for now, check out those links. I wanted to thank every reader and fan for reading. I’ve been given a great opportunity to help even more people understand gas prices and to try and save money. Let’s do it!

Patrick

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