As I always have, I am being honest with my customers. I have tried very hard to keep the prices fair, but I have found that now I am losing money. We were late on our financials but caught up last week through April and it was with a shock, Hopkins Oil is losing $10.000 per month. I ran it by the accountant and he pointed out where all the costs are have gone up. Liability insurance alone went up $37,000. I have a choice either dissolve a failed business plan with fixed margins or to raise the margins.
Hopkins Oil has a big credit line event coming up and I am afraid the bank will try to force me out unless I have a plan in place to turn things around. Effective Tuesday, August 15th, we will raise all margins by 2 cent/gallon. The exceptions are customers paying with a credit card and I must raise those customers by 5 cents/gallon. It is costing Hopkins Oil 4 to 5 cents to cover the credit card fees so we will still just be breaking even. The value of the fixed margin to you as a customer, we go up the same day with price changes BUT we go down the same day when prices fall. There is your savings. All other oil distributors keep the float. Should I be forced out, the first casualty to go will be fixed margins. I would hate to go out a looser with my life’s work. No price changes will be increased on those buying less than a year. C-stores will have their on pricing.
Prices today are up a little. Gasoline is up by 0.55 cents/gallon. Diesel fuel is up by 0.31 cents/gallon. Crude oil is up 29 cents/barrel to $48.82. Prices are:
Some genius is Saudi Arabia has decided that traders are looking at vast inventory of U.S. crude. That is correct. That is what has been holding the price of WTI and therefore all other benchmarks in the world. His solution is stop importing Saudi crude to the U.S. But that means they have to buy WTI themselves for their U.S. refinery for their Shell stations. It worked for a while. The price of WTI has gone up about $5/barrel. OPEC has to be ecstatic. Back slaps all around, high five or whatever. The problem is U.S. frackers see the price going up and they are also overjoyed. What do you think their reaction will be. They see the their own sales price going up and inventory dropping. You can bet your life that they began pumping wells already drilled and leasing more drilling rigs. Drill baby drill. OPEC’S only choices are to cut their production or open up production worldwide to stave out U.S. frackers. If they cut production, U.S. suppliers will take their world market share. If they increase production and flood the market, for one thing, it won’t work and two it will depress the share price of the IPO that Saudi Arabia is marketing for all their oil into one corporation. It sounds like to me they want out off oil while the getting is good. Why would anyone purchase this IPO, unless you want to book a cabin on the Titanic, unless you can make a ploy during the next 25 years. In fifty years gasoline made be selling under $1. CNG will be much cheaper and electric and hydrogen.
My criticism may be why Motiva/Shell has not approved my last two requests for rebates, one was two years ago to incentive an existing dealer to resign Shell for another ten years. Hopkins Oil paid him out of pocket and I am still waiting to be reimbursed. The second is for an existing station to reimage to the new Shell image and sign up for another 10 years. The third is a good site on the Interstate that I competing for branding with Exxon. Exxon’s proposal has been on the table and the c=store has already renovation. Shell wont give me a proposal and I am going to lose it. Hey, it is not fault if I point out the obvious to anyone with half a brain. Me, I am of an age that I have to retire. Give me one more year so I can sell my life’s work for enough to live on. My kids are not interested.
Gasoline is down by 0.78 cents/gallon. Diesel fuel is up by 1.54 cents/gallon. Diesel fuel usually follows crude which is up by 73 cents/barrel to $49.50. Prices are: