|SHeating oil prices on both sides of the
Atlantic and in Asia (not shown) exceeded gasoline prices through late
|SThe provocative question is whether the
unusual gasoline/distillate price situation in 2005 stems from a temporary
situation or is the beginning of a more fundamental shift in the relative
pricing of these primary light refined products.
|SWe have all been watching the growth in diesel
demand, and at some point, price for diesel will have to rise relative to
gasoline to produce the incentives needed to shift refinery investment
towards more distillate production. Is
this the beginning of that situation?
|SThe underlying question about the fundamental
nature of that imbalance is still unresolved, but this year has provided an
example of what to watch as we move ahead, and it does dampen the
attractiveness of diesel light-duty-vehicles somewhat. Still, in a world with high fuel costs, the
potential high fuel efficiency and high performance characteristics of
diesel-fueled light-duty vehicles should be attractive to consumers.