Time to wrap up 2015

Comment on my December 9 prediction:  A perfect CORRECT, as prices rose the next day to $1.99.  We saw another reset (sort of) to $1.99 at the beginning of this week.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015, 3:30PM:  Time to wrap up 2015.  My “home station” to track prices in the Speedway on Lake Michigan Drive & Collindale Avenue, and in the first half of 2015, prices crept up until we got to $2.99 on June 11 and again on July 1 and on August 12.  Then the bear market in energy really started to snarl, and we enjoyed falling prices the second half of the year.  Sample prices:  $2.24 on September 15, $2.17 on October 30, $1.99 on November 20, and our low of the year:  $1.78 on December 1.  Hard to complain about a 40% drop in retail prices in six months.

So, what to expect for 2016?  This article is helpful, particularly the “Cumulative Average YTD Change” chart.  It gives you a sense of what we’ve seen for years:  prices tend to rise until about Memorial Day, get more volatile through Labor Day, and then decline into some point in December.  Despite oil prices appearing to head to new lows this week, I suspect we’ll see the same trajectory in 2016, leading to prices typically over $2 come March or April.  Short term, though, there is no sign of a hike in the air.

Thank you to all our readers for checking in regularly.  We’ll keep playing The Gas Game in 2016, and you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and on our web site.

Updated: December 30, 2015 — 3:34 pm

27 Comments

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  1. Thank you, Ed. Throughout the year you’ve helped me save money on gas!

    Happy new year!

  2. If you go to the Gas Buddy site and graph just the last month, you will see the cost of crude go slightly down in the last 4 weeks, and the cost of gasoline slightly up in the same time.

  3. Yes, thank you Ed for all the info you supply to us to help us beat the system.

  4. TimmP sent me a chart of December 2015 retail prices, which I have posted here:

    http://www.thegasgame.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Dec-2015-Retail-Chart.png

  5. I am so dumbfounded, and not at all upset. For some reason, Fort Wayne has decided, SO FAR, not to join this week’s spike. Very out of character for us, but very welcome. I have been keeping my cars topped off.

  6. Heads up! Speedway continuing the Monday spike it has been doing lately. Going to $1.99 in Michigan and Indiana at least…

  7. Looks like we’re back to the spike a week trend. Crude is nearing $40 bucks a barrel. I have a feeling we’ll see $2.15-$2.30 gas by the end of the month in east central Indiana…hope I’m wrong because I enjoy seeing a 1 as the first digit on the neon gas signs.

    It could be worse though as I’m working in Chicago this week and have seen some places at $2.69….yikes

  8. 1.999 in Ohio as well today. smdh.

  9. pity that none of the Presidential candidates is looking into times past and how we got to $147 crude… it’s not just this Act or that Act, the issue is way more complex.

    I suppose when we get to $55 crude and $3-3.25 gas we can reconsider.

  10. Yep, big red spike in South Bend IN & Niles MI to $1.99 is underway. Many of them hadn’t really dropped more than a few pennies since last Monday.

  11. A $2.09 hike in Chicago suburbs, even though wholesale is the same as 2 weeks ago when they went a dime higher. This is the lowest post hike profit margin since the August refinery issues sent wholesale out of sight.

  12. Chris
    Weekly spikes would be the historical norm in January/February when Midwest wholesale tends to rise faster than the national average.

  13. …because our squirrels don’t hibernate 🙂

    What I’m seeing compared to five years ago is that most Speedway stations around me have been substantially remodelled or rebuilt, several independent or small chains have been swallowed up, and profit margins seen to increase. Business as usual.

  14. In the past year Marathon Petroleum stock (owns Speedway) is up 10%. Marathon Oil, the upstream operations company is down about 1/2. Speedway not suffering any from low oil prices

  15. We managed to escape the spike from a couple days ago. Usually happens a couple times a year. I just saw the headlines that crude is at an 11 year low. Now if spot can just slip below $1 once again!

  16. I smell a refinery issue a-brewing……

  17. I’m sure a reason will crop up where any price decreases won’t make it this far down the line…

  18. Wholesale is under $1. Wonder how long until there’s a refinery explosion.

  19. Given the history, something has got to happen to keep us from enjoying it.

  20. The Squirrel with the big red “S” on his chest is getting ready wreck havoc at a refinery or two..

  21. Chris
    Spot is under a dollar (though wholesale is not), after a big plunge today.

  22. Glad to hear it Jim

  23. oilprice.com. Interesting read this morning. Interesting times in the Middle East to say the least. Very volitale right now for many reasons. Should it explodeat least we don’t have the deep dependency for their crude like we did in 73. I will assume the wells and rigs reopen and restart production should anything disasterous happen.

  24. Seems to be a little gas war involving the Kroger at Southport and Bluff on the Indy SS. $1.59 this morning. I wonder if we can expect another spike this week?

  25. Its all pretty quiet here in Rt 20 corridor- prices between 1.70-1.75 gallon having drifted down around 20 cents in a week

    see the spot price went below 90 cents today, but according to the spike formula we are at or below the spike line- is this correct?- im sure round here we had prices below 1.70 when the spot was above 1.00 and we still fell further

    does anyone else sense a spike coming? – hope not as the jeep gas mileage drops even further driving around in temps touching 5-10 degrees !!

  26. Is the spike line correct? The date on the page says 1/13, bit the $1.806 for Indiana has been there for about a week now. Not sure of exact date but it was last week when I first saw the $1.806.

  27. Same with Ohio. No way the spike line is 85 cents over spot (1.74-.89). Spike line should be somewhere around $1.55, at least for Ohio.
    I will go with the assumption that it hasn’t been updated.

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