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Oil strains economies.

OIL STRAINS ECONOMIES. The same soaring fuel prices squeezing family pocketbooks and slicing into cooperate profits in the United States and Europe are especially catastrophic in Central America, reports AP (Sept. 8, 2008). In Guatemala, for example, more money spent on gasoline can push small businesses into bankruptcy and families into poverty, while straining fragile economies to the point of near collapse. In Guatemala, a gallon of gas in the capital of Guatemala City costs an average of US$3.26, and prices in the countryside and at other points throughout the region are approaching US$4, the Guatemalan Energy Department reports. In neighboring El Salvador and Honduras, drivers have lined up at gas stations to buy fuel they are afraid will get even more expensive in coming days. Central America's largest oil producer, the dense jungles of northern Guatemala's Peten province, churned out 250,000 barrels a day in 2004. But much of the crude pumped here has to be sent to Texas for refining, meaning oil finds do little to slow skyrocketing gasoline prices.
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Title Annotation:THE REGION
Publication:Caribbean Update
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2005
Words:176
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