The headline – “Saudi oil attacks. Will fuel prices go up?” That was Saturday, September 14.

Yes, at the pump but, no, not at the electric socket is the easiest answer. That is only if the price of crude oil goes up and stays up. There is enough oil on the market to take the edges off price spikes even over periods of months. But markets react, short term.

The U.S. benchmark for crude – West Texas Intermediate Crude – closed Friday (9/13) at $54.82. Uncertainty usually makes oil go higher at least temporarily. Prices were up 11% as markets opened after the weekend. (Source)

A world oil price around $60 could go to $70-80 say some reports. Others say there is a possibility of $100 per barrel, though it may not last long.

“As international energy policy expert Professor Nick Butler explains, “the direct impact of the attacks could be short-lived. The market has adjusted without blinking over the last two years to the loss for political reasons of over two million barrels a day of production from Venezuela and Iran”. That is from the BBC.

Fuels for power in NC. Negligible petroleum. Image: Energy Information Agency

“The worry is, if the attacks stoke broader tensions in the region, then these price rises could be more long-term. Professor Butler believes ‘if retaliation becomes a reality, any spike could be sustained feeding the risk of an economic recession.’”

If the price of oil and gasoline go up, why not power at the house? Utilities are not dependent on crude for electric generation. Check the North Carolina chart. There is a lot of natural gas used to make electricity, but there is no definite correlation between crude prices and natural gas prices.