July 16, 2008
Gas lines are not hard to find. This fall, you will likely see them at your local gas station:
• There were spot shortages during the 2007 harvest in North and South Dakota.
• A home heating oil crisis will occur when cold weather forces empty tanks to be filled.
• Increasing mortgage foreclosures illustrate that people are choosing between their cost of commuting to work and house payment.
• Fuel and food riots occur where people that cannot borrow or buy oil (examples):
• June 13, 2008, 2 people killed in fuel riots in Spain and Portugal.
• July 12, 2008, 13 people killed in fuel riots in Yemen.
The purpose of this essay is to highlight petroleum inventory issues likely to cause shortages this fall. Several events can create instant, grave shortages. Following is an incomplete list of known risks. There are still more unknown risks of unknown magnitude. As explained below, gas lines will be accompanied by a price jump of about $1.50 per gallon, even if crude oil does not increase in price.