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Iowa Consumers Wait for Lower Fuel Costs as Crude Oil Prices Continue to Decrease

For More Information Contact:

For More Information Contact:

Don Tormey at OEI (515) 725-0428

Kay Snyder at DED (515) 725-3150

Iowa Consumers Wait for Lower Fuel Costs as Crude Oil Prices Continue to Decrease

DES MOINES (February 17, 2011) — Decreases in the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, which declined to $84.81 per barrel as of February 14, 2011, have yet to translate into gasoline prices dropping at the pump for Iowa consumers. West Texas Intermediate (WTI), also known as Texas light sweet, is a type of crude oil used as a benchmark in oil pricing and is the underlying commodity of New York Mercantile Exchange's oil futures contracts.

With deliveries of Canadian crude to Cushing, Oklahoma beginning on TransCanada’s Keystone Cushing (pipeline) Extension, the crude supply has increased, which will result in downward pressure continuing on WTI pricing. With recent crude inventory supply at Cushing at a historic high, storage capacities have been expanded to accommodate the increased volume. Natural gas prices also continue to decline, trading at $3.895/MMBtu on February 14th, a 31.2 percent decline from last year and an11.7 percent decline from January’s price. 

Motor Fuels
A monthly report on the average price of 10 percent ethanol blend mid-grade gasoline in Iowa was $3.06 per gallon as of February 15th, which is a 2.0 percent increase from January’s price of $3.00. The average price for diesel in Iowa was $3.47 per gallon for February 15th, which is a 4.2 percent increase from the January price of $3.33.  For Iowa metro area averages, visit:


Crude Oil

On February 14th, a barrel of West Texas Cushing Sweet Crude Oil was $84.81. This price is a 7.4 percent decline compared to the January 14, 2011 price of $91.54, but 10.1 percent higher than the February 2010 price of $77.01.

Heating Fuels

On February 14th, natural gas was trading at $3.895/MMBtu, which is $1.77 lower than one year ago, a 31.2 percent decline and 11.7 percent decline from January’s price of $4.41/MMBtu.  The U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration reports that working natural gas in storage as of February 4th was 2,144 Billion cubic feet (Bcf), 2.1 percent lower than the 5-year average (2006-2010) and 4.4 percent lower than the level during the corresponding week last year.


The average price for heating oil in Iowa increased by $0.19 per gallon last month, to reach $3.12 per gallon on February 14th. The average propane prices in Iowa increased by $0.03 a gallon last month to reach $1.80 as of the same date. Due to the recent large winter storms, total U.S. stocks of propane fell 3.1 million barrels during the first week of February, which is now at 34.8 million barrels.


To limit the financial impact of fluctuating energy prices, Iowa consumers should take advantage of programs to make improvements to their homes’ and vehicles’ energy efficiency. Tips for saving energy and money at home and on the road are available at To review monthly fuel price reports, visit:







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Iowa Economic Development Authority
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: 1.515.348.6200
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