OPEC is Crude:
Crude oil prices ($127.00 Aug 01, 2008) are determined by global supply and demand conditions in International markets. The production policies of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or (OPEC) help determine global supply availability and these policies have an important influence on World oil prices. OPEC attempts to maintain the oil prices by restricting oil production. With OPEC's ability to restrict production, which depends on prevailing market conditions, the degree of co-operation from non-OPEC oil producing countries, and its own resources. Crude oils command different prices because they vary in quality. The value of the products that can be made varies from crude to crude. Crude oils are different depending on the location of the drilling.
Where Does My Gasoline Come From?
The United States consumes about 21 million barrels (882 million gallons) of petroleum products each day. Almost half of this is in the form of gasoline which is used in over 210 million motor vehicles traveling over 7 billion miles per day. WOW now that is alot of fuel. Most gasoline is made from crude oil, formed from the remains of plants and animals that lived hundreds of millions of years ago. These remains were covered with layers of sediment over time. With extreme pressure and high temperatures over millions of years, these remains became the mix of liquid hydrocarbons (an organic chemical compound of hydrogen and carbon) that we call crude oil. Refineries break down these hydrocarbons into different products. These “refined products” include gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, jet fuel, liquefied petroleum gases, residual fuel oil, and many other products. The most basic refining process separates crude oil into its various components. Crude oil is heated and put into a distillation column where different hydrocarbon components are boiled off and recovered as they condense at different temperatures. The molecular structure of the input is further changed in processes using heat and pressure as well as catalysts that increase the rate of reactions without being consumed themselves. The characteristics of the gasoline produced depend on the type of crude oil that is used and the setup of the refinery where it is produced. Gasoline characteristics are also affected by other ingredients that may be blended into it, such as ethanol. Most of the fuel ethanol added to gasoline is made from corn grown in the United States. The gasoline performance must meet industry standards and environmental regulations that vary by location. In 2007 U.S. refineries produced 90 percent of the gasoline used in the United States. Although the United States is the world’s third largest crude oil producer, less than 35% of the crude oil used by U.S. refineries was produced in the United States. About 48% of our net petroleum imports were from countries in the Western Hemisphere, 18% from the Persian Gulf, 22% from Africa, and 12% from other regions.
In conclusion with OPEC controlling our production of oil globally; if they decide that we have a supply and demand issue of crude they put a squeeze on production, weather it is more or less, which ends up controlling our economy. If the US would put more restrictions on the price of crude oil, then most Americans would not be in their current travel or commuting situation. Fuel prices control our economy.
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