Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Power of Oil

Besides the housing market, another major occurrence in the past week was the price of crude oil in our economy. The price of crude oil, which is used to make liquefied petroleum gas, naphtha, kerosene, gas oil, fuel oil, lubricants and asphalt, has been on the rise over the past couple of months due to tensions in Iran and forecasts of a bad storm season coming into play. The story out of Iran began with 15 British marines and sailors being captured on their boat while in the Shatt al-Arab. The capture of the marines brought high tensions between the UK and Iran. The potential for aggressive actions heightened throughout the conversations between these two nations. The United Nations Council got involved to help alleviate the tension and rescue the captives. Today, Iran released news stating they would release the prisoners which has solved the conflict for the meantime. In a news piece by Myra P Saefong entitled "Crude Falls as Iran Says It'll Release U.K. Sailors" on, it states that the positive news between these two nations helped lower the recent high crude oil prices had achieved, but the price remained relatively high due to Iranian nuclear problems still escalating along with rising gas future prices. The speculation on crude prices is not positive for the US economy. Many experts feel that issues in the Middle East will raise crude prices therefore increasing the cost of gas futures. The price of gas futures increases because the US reserve of gasoline is declining to alleviate the increase in price in crude oil. When gas prices go up it is a strain on the US economy due to our necessity for gas. Therefore, the problems that could escalate out of high crude oil prices is substantial for the US economy, much more than even the concerns within the housing sector.

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