Today’s Gas & Diesel Price Updates

It never gets boring to say, prices are down again today. I would like prices to drop to $2.00 at the pump and stay there until the economy begins to prosper, really prosper. Gasoline is down by 3.23 cents/gallon at the average rack in Selma. Diesel fuel is down by 2.54 cents/gallon. Crude slipped after a brief rally, down 31 cents to $55.37. Prices are:

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Have a great day,

-Larry Hopkins

Today’s Gas & Diesel Price Updates

The news is GSK, Glaxo Smith Kline, with 2500 employed in RTP is planning to shut down all R&D here in favor of Philadelphia and London. I remember when Burroughs Welcome completed that building in the Triangle that was unique in that not a single room was the same size. After the dedication for the building was completed, the company sued the builder Daniels International, the same company that build CP&L’s nuclear site in New Hill with terms cost plus 10%. I heard they sent their junk equipment to New Hill then replaced all of it was new equipment at the stock holder’s expense. CP&L  had a nuclear plant that cost 10x the estimate and only one reactor instead of four. What did the company do, they name the plant after the guy that ran our electric bills from the cheapest in the nation to the higher end of electricity cost. That would be Sharon P Harris.  What a scam. Duke Power had their own engineers design and build their nuclear plants in house. I give them credit for that. What I would like to see Duke Energy in their budget to bury all of the electrical lines in the this city, safe from hurricanes, tornadoes and ice storms. Plus, it would look much more beautiful without tacky wires ruining every photograph you want to take of your home.  Again, much an energy company’s labor is ‘loaded in’ like the fire department. Much of the time the crews are staged, waiting for a call. They could spend this time burrowing wires and like the fire department that takes its fire trucks and crews to inspect fire hydrants, they would be ready for a emergency, drop some heavy metal plates over the exposed hole and take off.  I should like to point out, that I have called Duke Energy for a free survey at our Hopkins Oil office and warehouse and they have refused to come both times. We are here in Raleigh not the Great Dismal Swamp. Since I made this recommendation, my electric bill was forced into accepting a bank draft. Their logic was, I had paid my bill late four times in the previous year.  I should like to point out my staff pays four Duke Energy bills, all four of them with one check, but only the one in my personal name was forced onto bank draft. One bill is still in my Dad’s name at the bulk plant. The other two are in Hopkins Oil’s name. We continue to pay the other three with one check. And Duke Energy continue to pay tree companies to butcher the trees underneath power lines. I have seen trees they decapitated and others they just gave a butch haircut. How lovely they looks in our civilization. If their company culture is to react to my criticism with their power doing their talking, I would also question their best efforts to clean up their coal ash containment ponds. They are running a lot of PR ads by Duke employees saying how their company and ours will do the right thing. I also remember back in the 1960’s when CP&L was running all those t.v. ads about how luck we were to have them as our electricity supplier and they were and are a monopoly. It is like Direct TV or cable, where you have an alternative.

GSK has a big manufacturing plant in Zebulon that makes Altair inhalers, and that drug is coming off patent, so instead of increasing the  R&D budget to try and refill their drug pipeline, some genius decided to cut R&D by a third. Once the bleeding starts in R&D here in January, it will not stop. Many of the best people will bail rather than wait for the other shoe to drop. Multinational drug companies have a problem, it is harder and harder to have a big blockbuster drug to support their size. The problem with, say, cancers, there might be 80 different types. A market test might show 18% success rate for one type of cancer and by the major drug company would deem that drug a failure. But if a gene test shows that people with those special genes will have a tendency  to form one form of the 80 cancers and one drug might be very effective at curing one cancer. What we need is multiple drugs to treat multiple forms of the same disease. Now a much smaller startup might find that same 18% success and market it and thrive with its much lower base. I would predict many of these bright people fired from GSK will come back with small startups that hit it big, for their relative size. What will GSK do, try to buy all of the startups?  It might be better to take these bright minds and actually finance their best ideas, giving them the freedom to work and be successful and share in their success. We do have three pharmacy schools in this state now, Chapel Hill, Wingate and Campbell and 15 other community colleges offering technical degrees.
UNC is rated #2 in the U.S. When I was there, they were not in the top ten, or even 20. I left there in 1972 but another guy Fred Eshelman graduated the same year and later donated $38 million to the Pharmacy School. They renamed the school after Eshelman in 2010. Mr. Eshelman announced another donation of $100 million to UNC, the largest contribution in the University’s history. He started two drug companies and succeeded with both. He is an inspiration  to us all.
That has nothing to do with our gasoline and diesel prices.  The market took a hit today with the DOW down by 268 points. Since the recent recession destroyed my IRA, I have no dog in the hunt. My dog is this fuel/gasoline hunt. Can you stand some good news? Gasoline dropped, the word is dropped, by 8.48 cents at the average rack in Selma. Diesel fuel dropped by 5.38 cents/gallon. Crude dropped by $1.65 per barrel to $61.55, very close to the $60 threshold. If the WTI price drops through that level, then we would have a big free fall. Price are:

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Have a great day,

-Larry Hopkins

Today’s Gas & Diesel Price Updates

A new pipeline came on stream last week operated by Enbridge LLC, the Flanagan South Pipeline is moving crude from Pontiac, Illinois to Cushing, OK  the giant crude hub in the center of the country. This pipeline can carry up to 880,000 barrels per day or 36,960,000 per day, that’s PER DAY.  This is the first pipeline completed to move crude south from the North of our country. Keystone is complete from Cushing to Houston and the major refineries. I would guess why there was not major fervor against Flanagan, because this crude is not produced from shale, with its environmental problems and open pit mining used in Canada. I think we all believe in a quality environment, clean air and clean water, but some people take it to another level, usually where one finds religious fanatics. My brother-in-law put it best, ‘If we listened to those guys, we would all be living in caves!’.  Perhaps when they die and go to Environmental Heaven they will be given a virgin as their reward. Of course, the virgin might be male or female, but if one is a Pure Liberal, he or she won’t care .

Crude dropped $2.79/barrel to $62.84. Gasoline dropped 4.53 cents/gallon at the average rack in Selma. Diesel fuel dropped 6.83 cents/gallon. Prices are:

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Have a great day,

-Larry Hopkins

Today’s Gas & Diesel Price Updates

The dollar crossed up and over the 89 cents mark against a basket of the world’s top currencies. I would like to see our dollar worth a dollar, so 11 more cents to go. Stocks closed at a new record high Dow total of 17,959. I think the stronger dollar plus the U.S. economy’s rising, is attracting foreign investment. Just buying stock traded in dollars means the stock is going up as the dollar increases. Also, crude oil is traded in dollars which pushes down the price of crude. Boone Pickens was on the talking shows trying to talk crude up. No luck. U.S. production will continue to increase. Many of the frack wells are in the $40 range. There will be no decrease in efforts to produce more crude in the U.S. because of the lower price. Hear me. Crude will continue to drop in price until it is so cheap that then and only then will efforts slow, wells capped, much as happened with natural gas in the U.S.. President Putin, pronounced Pooh TIN, close to Pooey! Will be encouraged to attack Ukraine. You know the Ukraine was the bread basket of the Soviet Union. That was why Hitler wanted the Ukraine and Poland as territory for the future of the greater Germany. That is why the SS was killing all of the people as they went. It wasn’t just the Jews, though they got special attention, Hitler and his group intended genocide of all the people in the East so they could colonize their land with pure Germans. The Soviets found all of those mass graves when they returned, filling them with a terrible rage.
Pooh Tin may chose a diversion into the Ukraine to take his people’s minds off the Russian economy. We should provide the Ukraine with a dozen or so M1 Abrams tanks so they could take out all the Russian tanks, assuming the Abrams could carry enough shells. The Ukrainians need some Apache helicopters and a couple of squadrons of F17 all-weather fighters with advance missiles and telemetry.  The Ukraine needs to train with NATO and receive proper training and equipment so they can defend themselves.

Why does China keep barreling along even under their communism and Ukraine and other countries cannot prosper the same way? What is the difference? How do we help the Ukraine get moving in a capitalist system and earn a better life for their people? What do they need to do? If it farming is knowledge, maybe we can bring some of their people over here, thinking wheat, and they can have an exchange with our Midwest farmers, show them what we are doing to increase  yields. I am sure they could teach us something also.

The new job reports came out this morning and it was 80,000 higher than the experts predicted hitting new jobs growth of 321,000 last month. That is why the stock market set a new record today.  Crude dropped another dollar today to $65.63/barrel.

Gasoline is unchanged, down 0.08 cents/gallon at the average rack in Selma. Diesel fuel slipped by 0.40/gallon. Prices are:

 

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Have a great day,

-Larry Hopkins

Today’s Gas & Diesel Price Updates

Saudi Arabia cut the cost of crude to the U.S.  by $1 which means Shell gasoline will be more competitive as Motiva Enterprises in the 36 states in the East plus Texas is a 50/50 marketing company between Aramco and Shell Oil . Crude is not likely to go up any time soon, now $66.67/barrel. I think the smart MBA’s Saudi Arabia employs, all educated in the U.S. have figured out that they can keep market share by dropping their price until the shale oil companies in the U.S. and Canada cannot compete at such a low price. Believe me, this is good news for us.

Gasoline moved up by 1.23 cents/gallon at the average rack in Selma. Diesel fuel dropped down by 2.82 cents/gallon. Prices are:

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Have a great day,

-Larry Hopkins