Gasoline prices, spiking and dropping all over the world

Essay by jOE bLAZUniversity, Master'sA, October 1996

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The price of gasoline is a major interest to almost everyone in the country and almost everywhere in the world. It seems that every month and sometimes more frequently, gas prices are either spiking or dropping, never staying stable. Gasoline prices are affected by many factors, including the price of crude oil in the world market, supply and demand for gasoline, local market competition, temporary supply interruptions, government regulations, or taxes.

Gasoline is produced by a distillation process where crude oil is heated and fumes are captured and converted into many products such as kerosene, jet fuel, and gasoline to name a few. Therefore the price of crude oil, which is extracted from oil wells beneath the earths surface, is a major factor in gas prices. The five leading oil-producing countries and their approximate shares of the world supply of oil are: Soviet Union 21%, Saudi Arabia 17%, The United States 15%, Venezuela 4%, and Mexico 4%.

These five countries made up 61 % of the worlds oil production back in 1980. Even though The United States is a major producer of oil, it does not make them self-sufficient. The United States uses more oil than they can produce and must look towards foreign countries. An organization called O.P.E.C. controls approximately four fifths of the worlds oil reserves in the non-communist world. The United States is forced to deal with O.P.E.C., not only in its own interests, but also in the interest of its allies and in the interest of maintaining peace. The former Soviet Union may now have an interest in selling some of their oil that they have a tremendous amount of. O.P.E.C. which stands for Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, is made up of 13 countries: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar, Indonesia, Libya, United Arab...