Gas prices keep going up

LIHU’E — Gasoline prices on the island have increased by around 15 cents a

gallon in the past month, from Jan. 25 to Feb. 29.

The latest increase was

a few nights ago, with different island dealers raising their pump prices

yesterday morning and afternoon. (See chart)

Both local dealers and the

U.S. Department of Energy see no relief in sight until September at the

earliest.

Nationally, the Department of Energy reports that petroleum

product prices have increased between 20 and 40 cents a gallon this year

compared to the same time last year.

The DOE estimates that prices at the

pump might not decline until sometime next year.

Glen Konishi, of Gary’s

Service, Inc., thinks pump prices on Kaua’i will continue climbing right

through the summer, as Mainland news reports indicate.

“Yeah, I think so. I

heard like not until the end of summer” for relief.

“So it’s probably

going to go up until then,” Konishi told The Garden Island.

All over the

Mainland, prices at the pump are going up, Konishi said.

Once Mainland

prices start dropping, Hawai’i prices should come down shortly thereafter, he

added.

Since February of last year and now, the price of a barrel of crude

oil increased from $11.37 to abour $30, a nine-year high as a result of

production cuts self-imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting

Countries (OPEC).

The OPEC oil ministers will meet at the end of this month

to consider future production strategies, and are under pressure from the

United States to increase production.

Increased production will lower oil

prices, which will translate, eventually, to stabilized or lower pump

prices.

The Sunday average U.S. price of a gallon of unleaded regular

gasoline was $1.47, the highest price ever.

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