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Average Gas Components for 2010 - Source: EIA

Refining and Retail percent combines the Distribution and Marketing and Refining data reported by EIA. Source: Average of gasoline components for 2010 as reported by EIA.

Crude oil makes up the bulk of U.S. gasoline prices. In the fourth quarter of 2010, the cost of a barrel of crude oil represented 68 percent of the cost of gasoline. The other 32 percent included federal and state taxes, as well as the costs associated with refining and retailing the product.

By The Gallon

Political instability, weather and the difficulty of access to supply all affect the global price of crude oil. Even the U.S. dollar’s value plays a part in determining market price. Because oil is sold in U.S. dollars throughout much of the world, when the U.S. dollar becomes weaker, it takes more U.S. dollars to buy the same amount of oil. Therefore the price of oil goes up for American companies and consumers.

Despite any price increases, oil is still relatively cheap compared to other daily staples. Consider the recent price per gallon of other items: coffee is about $32 per gallon; shampoo is nearly $40, orange juice is more than $7 and milk is about $4.

From a Shell Executive

To hear the president of Shell Oil Company explain what goes into the price of oil and gasoline to Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, you may visit the ABC News Website and watch the video here.

We at Shell recognize and appreciate customers are concerned and affected by increases in the price of fuel. For example, the Shell Family of Cards is designed to cover all payment preferences, incomes and lifestyles. Three of our cards make your money work for you by providing cardholders the opportunity to save at the pump.

The Shell Saver Card is a non-credit electronic check card payment option that provides consumers with a convenient way to pay for purchases with a direct link to a checking account and savings on each gallon of fuel pumped at Shell stations. The Shell Drive for Five Card is a proprietary credit card that provides cardholders the opportunity to save five cents per gallon on all three grades of Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines as well as Shell Diesel, and the Shell Platinum MasterCard (link here) from Citi offers rebates on all purchases.

Additionally, Shell has been teaming up with many of the nation’s leading traditional supermarket retailers to make it easier for consumers to save on high-quality fuels at Shell by redeeming their supermarket loyalty card points at the pump. It’s easy -- when customers make a qualifying purchase at participating grocery stores using their existing supermarket loyalty card at the register, they earn points that can then be redeemed at participating Shell stations.