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Oil prices a cat's whisker over $99, not high enough says Iran

Most Minnesotans are trying to keep their heads above water. Just when things are beginning to look as though the worst economic news is behind us, a fly lands in the ointment and unsettles everything.

Sunday, Sept. 16, Iran’s oil minister said the price of a barrel of oil should be “at least $150,” according to a story filed by Reuters.

Fortunately, Iran does not control the price of oil.

European, Asian and American economies are struggling to climb out of a four-year-long recession. With oil prices edging upward over the last month, benchmark Brent crude oil prices hit $118 a barrel at last week’s end. Monday’s opening electronic price for crude was at $99.06 a barrel, according to CNN. On Sept. 18, the price had fallen to $95.91 and regular unleaded gasoline was at $2.95 a gallon for October delivery.

Higher and higher crude oil prices continues to impact local gasoline prices, with most stations selling unleaded regular at $3.949 a gallon.

Remember at the beginning of summer when we were told that spring and summer prices were going to reach $4 a gallon due to increased demand and summer additives to gasoline drove prices upward? Then, at the end of August, we were told that after Labor Day, the cost of gasoline would return to a pre-summer pricing. Rather than pump pricing retreating to spring prices, they shot up at area stations.

Well, Iranian oil minister Rostam Qasemi said oil prices will climb this winter. “During the winter, oil prices always climb,” Qasemi said.

Huh? Who do you believe?

I guess the guys trying to make an atomic bomb while facing severe sanctions imposed by most of the world might not be the most reliable source. However, families are beginning to feel the pinch from higher pump prices. Those who heat their homes with heating oil will be hit with higher heating costs this winter, with heating oil at $3.24 a gallon for October 2012 wholesale.

If oil prices continue to escalate, look for the U.S. and world economies to stumble and fall back into a recessionary mode.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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