There are various factors that affect retail gasoline prices. Rising costs in crude oil in the world market has quite an effect on the eventual price of gasoline. Crude oil price is usually determined by worldwide supply and demand.
Whenever there are supply disruptions of crude oil in the world market, it would greatly affect retail gasoline prices. If there is an event that slows down or a stop in production among crude oil producing countries, the lack of supply would send the crude oil price up. And as the demand greatly increases due to crude oil being an essential ingredient for various industries, the rise in prices will trickle down into gasoline with crude oil being its raw material.
Other things that might affect retail prices of gasoline include its availability and distance from supply. In areas where gasoline supply has to travel very long distances, there is a likelihood that prices for it may be higher than in areas in close proximity to the gasoline supply. From the refineries, gasoline has to go through a series of transport hubs before it finds its way into the retail stations.
There are usually ports to go through as well as miles and miles of inland pipelines where it eventually reaches a main depot. From this depot, the gasoline may then be transported to the different gas stations by means of distribution trucks. With the distribution process this complex, having the gasoline supply far away from a certain gas station may eventually affect how its retail price may be formulated.
Aside from distance from supply, retail prices of gasoline may also be affected by environmental programs and local regulations being followed in a certain area. There are certain areas, countries or states that require gasoline to be specially formulated to meet up with certain local standards. This is usually done in order to protect the environment.
Certain regulations require that refined gasoline be further reformulated in order to help reduce pollutants to be released into the air. This might require adding up certain chemicals in order to help reduce carbon monoxide emissions as well as other pollutants when gasoline is being burned. In order to meet up with certain regulations of certain states and countries, such processes must be additionally performed and therefore may add up into the retail cost of the reformulated gasoline.
Another big factor of retail gasoline prices being different from one area to another is because of competition. Whenever there are quite a number of retail gas stations to choose from in a certain area, the likelihood of gasoline prices being cheaper there is high. The primary reason is, of course competition. With many retail gas stations trying to share the local market with other retail stations, getting customers attracted is important. The most effective way to do this is by trying to offer cheaper gas prices than the competitor.
In an area having just a few gas retail stations available, the gasoline prices would tend to be higher. The reason for this is that the demand would still be a bit greater with only a few retail stations able to provide the supply. In some cases, the consumer may be made to choose- whether to buy cheaper gasoline to a retail station location many miles away or buy gas from a nearer station offering more expensive gasoline prices.
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