Gas Prices Near $4.00 Per Gallon With Spreads Widening

Gas prices are up over 100% since the Federal Reserve embarked on quantitative easing (QE1) in the fourth quarter of 2008. The price at the pump is near $4.00 a gallon in most cities and more if you need premium. Now, filling up your car costs much more than it did during the recession.

US Retail Gas Price Chart

US Retail Gas Price data by YCharts

The Brent-WTI spread fell at the end of 2011 but is now up over 165% so far this year contributing to the high prices.

Brent WTI Spread Chart

Brent WTI Spread data by YCharts

Are we near the top? Edmund Shring, an equity strategist for Barclays Plc, says the global economy cannot withstand a Brent oil price at $150. We still have about $25 dollars to go before we get to these levels. Interestingly, oil production has surged as prices rise. Last week, US crude production reached the highest level since the end of 1999.

US Crude Oil Production Chart

US Crude Oil Production data by YCharts

The major integrated oil & gas companies are all up since QE1 but have trailed the S&P 500. Conoco Phillips (COP) and Chevron (CVX) did well with Exxon (XOM) posting fewer gains.

Brent Crude Oil Spot Price Chart

Brent Crude Oil Spot Price data by YCharts



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