Oil and gas have been the lifeblood of the South Louisiana economy for quite a while now. Unfortunately, our "lifeblood" has been on "life support" because of extremely low prices for oil and petroleum products around the world. However, that might be turning around just a little bit as oil prices around the world have slowly started to climb.

The American Automobile Association says the difference in price between a gallon of regular fuel when comparing this week to last week is an increase of .09 cents. Compared to one month ago, fuel prices are actually up by .20 cents. So, yes, you have been paying a bit more at the pump.

But do those higher fuel prices mean that the oil and gas industry is starting to shake off this low price "funk" that it's been in for a while now? Unfortunately, the best answer we can offer to that question is this, perhaps.

Perhaps the curtailed production by OPEC member nations will keep the price of oil at least steady. Perhaps the economy will start to grow and move as the world begins to move out from under the coronavirus pandemic. So, there's still plenty of unknowns as far as how the slow rise in fuel prices might affect those good-paying jobs in Louisiana's oil and gas industry.

Meanwhile, at the pump, forecasters with AAA don't foresee a huge spike in gas prices anytime soon. Those same fuel forecasters also don't see the price of regular gas falling back below $2.00 a gallon.

If I might editorialize for a moment, I don't mind paying a little or even a lot more for fuel for my vehicle. If it means that more and more Acadiana families will have a paycheck coming in from an oil and gas or related industry job. I do believe there can be a balance where folks are working and we can afford to pay for the gas they produce for our cars and trucks.

Unfortunately, it's hard to balance anything on a roller coaster which is what the oil and gas industry just happens to be.

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