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Oil industry analyst looks at future

By Stan Stelter

Bismarck, ND – An oil industry analyst says cutbacks in jet fuel use by America's ailing airline industry may be balanced somewhat by government purchases for military operations in the future.

John Kerekes of the American Petroleum Institute says the price of crude oil spiked worldwide just after last week's terrorist attacks. But he says prices fell then as other countries anticipated ripples from the growing economic problems in the United States.

He says the immediate impact on the U.S. petroleum industry will be the loss of jet fuel sales.

"Also I think there is another issue here and that is? probably the strong purchase of petroleum stocks by the federal government. You know, as they get up into what is essentially war footing, my guess is that their purchases are going to be growing significantly as the military gears up for whatever plans they have. So that may offset some of these factors that would diminish demand."

Energy experts say the energy supply and demand situation hasn't been affected yet, but the major question is how OPEC will respond now.