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Price of Fuel Could Be Higher this Summer for Rural Alaska
One of the reasons why energy prices are so high for rural Alaska is because traditionally the dates of when the barges leave to ship fuel happen to coincide with the highest oil and gas prices of the year.
The price of fuel in rural Alaska may be higher this summer than last.
Economists say on a state wide level the Alaska's oil price is in good shape because the state tracks the Brent crude the price per barrel in Europe, which is at about $102 a barrel versus $86 a barrel for the middle of the United States. Economists say the state is still receiving a price that's enough to balance the state budget.
Generally cities like Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau see relief at the gas pump during the summer, however, rural Alaska may not be so lucky.
The sailing dates for barges shipping fuel to western and rural areas will be coming up shortly and unless there's a lowering of the fuel price it will be locked in for the coming year. The local prices are based on when the barges originally left port.
"We actually expect that rural alaska will have higher prices than last year, the same or higher," said Jonathon King, principal economist, Northern Economics. "Because the base price that they're paying as a chance of being higher than it was last year."
King says one of the reasons why energy prices are so high for rural Alaska is because traditionally the dates of when the barges leave to ship fuel happen to coincide with the highest oil and gas prices of the year.