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Retail and Wholesale Fuel/Falling gas prices


Mr. Van der Valk,

I am interested in the relationship in how the lower gas prices (as low as $2.859/gallon here) will spur more people to take trips during the Fourth of July and how this recent drop in prices has affected the distributors. How long do you foresee this dip in prices lasting, and what do you see as the most critical catalyst to move prices higher (not considering just the price of oil)?

Thank you,

Buster Wolfe
Staff Writer
Columbian (Miss.) Progress


July 4th will give second wind for the start of the summer driving season after the Memorial Day weekend. However, this year the price of gasoline will be staying down as long as the Gulf Coast refineries are able to keep operating at full capacity.  The hurricane season is upon us once again and 50% of the US refining capacity is located on the Gulf of Mexico.  Weather forecasters are saying this will be a "normal" hurricane season and we will not see an instant replay of what happened after we got hit by Rita and Katrina.

The trips people will be taking are going to be by automobile and RV with the economy still in doldrums and being the most economical way to take a vacation.  Most of them will be only go on short "staycations" close to home.

My outlook for gasoline prices is that they will be steady until about the end of September. Oil refineries switch to winter blend gasoline about that time and we will have an additional 10% supply of gasoline flooding the market.  Prices will be down and me even go below the $2.50 per gallon by election day.  

The price of crude oil does have a relationship to gasoline pump prices.  The Saudi Arabia crude oil shipments are currently not finding a home and the WTI and Brent crude oil prices have dropped a precipitous 17% in the last month.

Please call me if you need any additional information.

Bob van der Valk
Petroleum Industry Analyst
Terry, Montana
(406) 853-4251

Retail and Wholesale Fuel

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Bob van der Valk


Bob van der Valk recently joined the Bakken Oil Business Journal as their Managing Editor of the bi-monthly print and digital journal editions, connecting business and resources for the greater Bakken area. Bob has collaborated & contributed to the editorial voice of the Bakken Oil Business Journal since its inaugural issue in May of 2012. He has been the source of information on the petroleum industry, as a whole, in addition to paying specific attention to the booming growth of Oil & Gas industry in the Bakken Oil Shale Region. Bob is quoted regularly in the national media for his expertise on petroleum industry matters and fluctuations in the prices of petroleum products. Bob has over 50 years of experience in the downstream refining and marketing sector of the petroleum industry with particular expertise on the U.S. western region. He is also a regular guest on Tom Egelhoff’s “Open for Business” radio program on KMMS-AM 1450 from Bozeman discussing current events in the petroleum industry for the region.


I have over 50 years experience in both the major and independent side of the refining and marketing side of the US petroleum industry.

Bakken Oil Business Journal

Associate in Arts degree at Cerritos College, Cerritos, CA

Awards and Honors
California Real Estate Broker

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4Refuel LLC, Lynnwood, Washington

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