$2.03 Gas - Wish I Had Known About This! - Fantasy Football Cafe 2014 Fantasy Football Cafe


Return to General Talk

$2.03 Gas - Wish I Had Known About This!

Moderator: Football Moderators

$2.03 Gas - Wish I Had Known About This!

Postby knapplc » Sun May 07, 2006 5:19 pm

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Most motorists are feeling the pain as gasoline creeps toward, or over, $3 a gallon — but not Art Altrichter.

"This feels pretty good!" Altrichter said as he filled the tank of his Ford F-150 pickup for $2.03 a gallon on Thursday, when the average here was $2.73. "Right now, to be a few pennies over $2, when it's as high as it is? That's a real deal."

A year ago, the retired milk truck driver bought 500 gallons of gas at First Fuel Banks, locking it in at the then-current price of $2.03 a gallon. He taps that reserve whenever gas rises above that mark. If the retail price drops below $2.03, he can leave his reserve alone and buy elsewhere.

First Fuel Banks bills itself as the only retailer in the country where customers can buy gasoline for the future and hedge against rising prices. It advertises no service charge and no storage charge, just a $1 lifetime membership fee.

Altrichter said one of his neighbors got in at First Fuel Banks several years ago and is now is withdrawing from a reserve that cost him 99 cents a gallon. "How about that!" he said.

Both people and businesses buy gas from the company, which has six stations in and around this central Minnesota city. The city of St. Cloud fills its fleet of cars at the company's stations.

The program is open to anyone who drives off the street. Customers buy whatever amount they want at the current price — the most ever purchased in advance was $400,000 worth — then swipe a card and key in a PIN number when they draw from their reserve.

Chief executive Jim Feneis, who runs the company with his brother, Dan Feneis, said 300 of its members are still filling up with gas that cost them less than a buck a gallon as recently as 2002. Many more are locked in under $2.

"We're offering a pretty attractive concept to the savvy buyer," Feneis said.

Each station has a 50,000-gallon tank for each grade of gasoline — regular, mid-grade and premium — compared with 6,000 to 8,000 gallons for each product at a typical convenience store, Feneis said.

That's enough capacity to handle short-and medium-term demand, he said. For people holding onto reserves for a year or longer, the company hedges its obligations by buying gasoline futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

First Fuel Banks started with a single station in 1982 and now has about 8,000 members, Feneis said. It makes its money just by selling gasoline, diesel and some specialty fuels since its stations aren't convenience stores. He said it has less than 5 percent of the St. Cloud area market. But he said it's just one part of a larger business, East Side Oil Co., that has other divisions such as oil recycling.

"Our 43-year-old family fuel business is happy, healthy and completely debt-free," Feneis said. "And I think we're definitely the minority."

A few other stations in the country have tried a similar approach, but none have succeeded, he said.

Lance Klatt, executive director of the Minnesota Service Station and Convenience Store Association, can understand why: price volatility and risk.

"There's no margins anyway" in the gasoline business, said Klatt.

It was a new idea to Ron Planting, an economist with the American Petroleum Institute in Washington. "But in the Northeast and maybe elsewhere there are heating oil dealers that do something similar with a customer who wants to lock in a price for the current heating season," he said.

Sheila Hallerman learned about First Fuel Banks when she received a gift card a year ago, and a few months ago she bought 100 gallons at $2.40.

"It still hurts," she said of shelling out more than $2 for a gallon. "But not as much as it could."


This seems like a great idea, but there aren't many gas stations that have that kind of capacity, I'm sure.

I just filled up for about $2.75 a gallon the other day, and I was happy to get it for that. It had been about $2.90 the previous week.
Image
How 'bout them Huskers!
knapplc
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerGolden Eagle EyeCafe MusketeerCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 18961
Joined: 27 Dec 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: It's an L, not an I

Postby Calyxes » Sun May 07, 2006 6:53 pm

I wish I would have heard of this before. Great idea!! I could not imagine filling up at .99 cents a gallon :-o
Image
Calyxes
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
CafeholicCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerWeb SupporterCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 3014
(Past Year: 6)
Joined: 24 Sep 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Maritime Capital of the Great lakes

Postby Calyxes » Sun May 07, 2006 6:53 pm

I wish I would have heard of this before. Great idea!! I could not imagine filling up at .99 cents a gallon :-o
Image
Calyxes
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
CafeholicCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerWeb SupporterCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 3014
(Past Year: 6)
Joined: 24 Sep 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Maritime Capital of the Great lakes

Postby Dirt Bag » Sun May 07, 2006 6:57 pm

just goes to show you how smart us Minnesotans are :-)
Image
Dirt Bag
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeInnovative MemberPick 3 Weekly WinnerSweet 16 SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 3415
Joined: 11 Nov 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Buffalo, MN

Postby Mercer Boy » Sun May 07, 2006 9:05 pm

Kind of like playing the stock market with gas...good idea a few years ago for those who got in on the ground floor. ;-D

I definitely wouldn't be starting it with today's prices though...unless the price just keeps getting worse (which it probably will). :-o
The One, the Only, the Incomparable Mercer Boy.
My My YouTube.
Mercer Boy
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerWeb SupporterLucky Ladders ChampionPick 3 Weekly WinnerSweet 16 SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 12045
Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: New Castle, PA

Postby Omaha Red Sox » Mon May 08, 2006 9:20 am

Good for him at thinking ahead of time and preparing for the price increase.
Omaha Red Sox
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar
Cafe Ranker
Posts: 12290
Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Probably over there

Postby Plindsey88 » Mon May 08, 2006 9:29 am

Would have been a good idea to get in on this a few years ago, but I sure as hell wouldn't buy 500 gallons at $3.00 a gallon...

One way or another the price of gasoline is bound to drop... Either people will start using cars which are less dependent on gasoline (hybrids, compacts, bio-deisel, etc...), which will curb the demand, and thus lower the cost, OR the oil companies will wise up and realize that the end result of the current pricing is the inevitable switch to a less expensive fuel, and they will voluntarily lower their prices...

Supply and Demand always wins out in the end...

The current pricing is possible because of an overall strong economy, but the current pricing will hurt the economy, which will make it less feasible for people to pay the current prices, which will present an overwhelming incentive for someone to develop a reasonably priced alternative, which will decrease demand, and lower prices...

I hope the oil companies are enjoying their record profits, because it won't be long before they can't give that stuff away...

Personally, I look forward to the day when we can tell the Saudis exactly what we really think of them, without the fear of an oil crisis... Mecca is long overdue for a barbeque....
Image

Signature courtesy of: madaslives911
Plindsey88
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
Fantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 10241
Joined: 19 Sep 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Richmond, VA

Postby onnestabe » Mon May 08, 2006 10:29 am

Plindsey88 wrote:Would have been a good idea to get in on this a few years ago, but I sure as hell wouldn't buy 500 gallons at $3.00 a gallon...

One way or another the price of gasoline is bound to drop... Either people will start using cars which are less dependent on gasoline (hybrids, compacts, bio-deisel, etc...), which will curb the demand, and thus lower the cost, OR the oil companies will wise up and realize that the end result of the current pricing is the inevitable switch to a less expensive fuel, and they will voluntarily lower their prices...

Supply and Demand always wins out in the end...

The current pricing is possible because of an overall strong economy, but the current pricing will hurt the economy, which will make it less feasible for people to pay the current prices, which will present an overwhelming incentive for someone to develop a reasonably priced alternative, which will decrease demand, and lower prices...

I hope the oil companies are enjoying their record profits, because it won't be long before they can't give that stuff away...

Personally, I look forward to the day when we can tell the Saudis exactly what we really think of them, without the fear of an oil crisis... Mecca is long overdue for a barbeque....


One thing you have to realize is that oil companies do not set the price of oil. They are price takers in the economy. The oil market is very cyclical in nature, and it would be stupid for them to sell oil lower than the market price, when they know there will be a time in the future where they aren't making as much margin. OPEC has the ability to heavily influence the price, because all of the producers work together to control it. But I think that a larger force in the oil market is in Asia. China and India are industrializing right now, so about 6 billion people suddenly need electricity and cars - and both of those things require fuel. Gloabl demand for oil is massive, and I think that the portion of it generated by cars in the US is pretty negligible. I think $3 per gallon is here to stay.
onnestabe
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
CafeholicCafe RankerEagle Eye
Posts: 4074
Joined: 6 Oct 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Cincinnati - West Price Hill


Return to General Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
Forums Articles & Tips Start & Sit Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Get Ready...
The 2014 NFL season kicks off in 13:24 hours
(and 44 days)
2014 NFL Schedule


  • Fantasy Football
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact