Boaters are bracing for high fuel costs as the busy summer season gets underway this weekend.
The cost of gasoline and diesel in the United States plateaued around all-time highs during the past week after crude oil prices stabilized, while the European Union delayed a potential embargo of petroleum from Russia.
The Europeans postponed the proposed embargo against Russia, possibly for a few weeks, in response to objections by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, The Wall Street Journal reported. Cutting off Russian supplies from their traditional neighboring markets is seen as another potential upward force on global oil prices at a time when the acceleration of drilling in the United States and elsewhere may not replace the lost barrels fast enough.
The trends in the oil market all but guarantee record-high prices at the fuel dock as Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer boating season. According to Waterway Guide’s latest fuel price report, a gallon of diesel or 89 octane gas will cost boaters more than $5, perhaps $7, in many regions this weekend. Some examples (including taxes):
• Prices at Pleasure Island Marina in Port Arthur, Texas, this week were $4.599 for 89 octane and $4.999 for diesel.
• Trout Creek Marina in St. Augustine, Fla., reported $4.679 for 89 octane and $5.559 for diesel.
• The price of 89 octane was $5.90 and diesel was $6.97 at Skipjack Cove Yachting Resort and Marina in Georgetown, Md.
• At Star Island Yacht Club and Marina in Montauk, N.Y., 89 octane was $6.049 as of yesterday, and diesel was $6.499.
• Both 89 octane and diesel were more than $6 at several Chicago marinas, with Belmont Harbor reporting $6.149 and $6.199, respectively.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were trading around $111 per barrel this morning. Both of those benchmarks peaked in March in the immediate aftermath of Russia’s initial incursion into Ukraine and have remained mostly above $100 per barrel since mid-April.