Financial and Economic Brief - September 12, 2017

by © Liberty Publishing, Inc.

Gas Prices Rise after Harvey

After Hurricane Harvey the average price of gasoline rose, prompted by oil refinery closures. Trilby Lundberg an industry analyst said that it was the biggest price increase for gasoline recorded by the Lundberg Survey since 2011. But she says whole gasoline prices have started to fall since refineries came back online and we will start to see better prices at the pump soon. In the survey on September 8, the average price of regular gasoline was up 30 cents at $2.69 per gallon, 48 cents higher than a year ago.

ARAMCO IPO Still on Track

Saudi Arabia is still on track to sell part of its oil company ARAMCO on the stock market in 2018 despite changes to its economic revival plan, an ambitious plan to overhaul the economy and reduce its dependence on oil. But Saudi Arabia is redrafting parts of the economic makeover in an effort to rethink its economic strategy after oil prices dropped to $26 a barrel. Now it is revising the National Transformation Plan (NTP) that sets specific targets for government bodies to meet by 2020. The Saudi government said the revisions would “improve efficiency and effectiveness of delivery across institutions.”

Caution Recommended

British energy company BP filed for an initial public offering of its pipeline assets in the U.S. This comes two months after BP communicated plans to spin off some of its U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast pipeline assets in an IPO to raise cash. Other energy companies that have spun off their pipeline assets include Royal Dutch Shell and refiners such as Valero Energy Corp, Tesoro Corp and Marathon Petroleum Corp. BP Midstream said it intends to raise up to $100 million in the IPO. This number could change.