Diesel prices may pass the $4-per-gallon mark this spring, analysts say as crude oil prices continue to set new records. Crude oil spiked to a new intraday high $103.05 before the U.S. commodities markets opened Friday morning.
Crude oil for April delivery fell 75 cents to close at $101.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday, as the dollar gained strength and Turkish forces withdrew from northern Iraq. For the week, crude oil prices were up 3.1 percent.
Diesel may pass the psychologically important $4 level this spring, Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, told the Associated Press.
Kloza is doubtful gasoline will reach that point, but other analysts believe it will. A survey commissioned by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association found that 65 percent of American car owners say they will dramatically change their driving behavior if gas hits $4.
Meanwhile, according to published reports, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has sent mixed signals as to whether it will raise production when it meets this week. Sunday, the head of Libya's oil industry said he expected OPEC would hold current production levels unchanged while it gauges the state of the global economy.
Oil prices won't fall below $60 to $70 a barrel, said Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi in remarks published on Sunday by Algeria's APS news agency. This is the minimum level at which alternative fuels are economically viable, he said. The main reason is that alternative fuels, whether biofuels or getting petroleum from tar sands, could not be profitable produced any lower than that.