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As a major portion of crude oil is produced by OPEC Nations (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), the increase in price or decrese in production by OPEC affects the prices of petroleum products globally.
Crude Petroleum Oil being a natural resource the supply of crude oil is limited according to the status of oil wells. Events such as hurricanes hitting oil wells also affect production of crude oil and consequently the price thereof.
Oil producers and consumers build a storage capacity to store crude oil for immediate future needs. They also build some inventories to speculate on the price expectations and sale/arbitrage opportunities in case of any unexpected changes in supply and demand equations. Any change in these inventory levels triggers volatility in crude oil prices.
The demand of crude oil is rising sharply due to high growth and demand from the emerging economies. On the supply side, the major sources of supplies are still the same as they were in the last decade. This is another factor influencing the prices of crude oil upwards.
In India, Petroleum Conservation Research Organisation(PCRA) has been promoted by the Central Government of India. Irrespective of the price of crude oil, India has to import in bulk crude petroleum and the message of energy conservation ,especially Petro/Diesel conservation has started long back.
In all countries the first step for conservation of fuel is “To reduce Speed”. In airways, railways and roadways the drivers are advised to reduce consumption of fuel.
The following tips will be useful for conservation of fuel in motor vehicles.
1.We must drive at a speed between 45and 55km/hr and drive smoothly avoiding sudden acceleration and not applying the brakes frequently. This will keep the vehicle in good condition, and help to save fuel.
2.When we are nearing a traffic signal, we must slow down gradually. When we start, we must avoid accelerating immediately. We must always switch off the engine while waiting for the light to turn green. Waiting with the engine on for more than a minute means more fuel consumption. Comparatively, the engine uses lesser fuel to restart.
3.We must avoid using the air-conditioner whenever possible. ACs use about 10 per cent extra fuel. We can also try switching it off after sometime and let the fan circulate the air, especially when we are about to reach our destination.
4.We must always try to park in the shade, as it will take less time to cool down the car once we start driving again
4.We must maintain the engine in good condition. A bad engine will cut the mileage by as much as 20 per cent. The spark plugs must be checked regulary. The engine oil should be checked and used according to the vehicle manual specifications. We must make sure air filters are always clean.
5.We must change the lubricant at regular intervals. We mustuse only branded oil recommended by the manufacturer. It is also advisable to use an engine flush before changing the oil to remove dirt in the engine.
6.We must avoid driving with our foot on the clutch, which will lead to more fuel consumption. We must use the clutch carefully only when changing gears.
7.We must be very careful about changing gears. A higher gear at low speed and vice versa will lead to loss of more fuel. We must shift gears carefully and according to the desired speed. This will cause less strain on your engine.
8.We must always ensure that the tyres have the right pressure. A good inflated tyre makes our drive smooth, safe and fuel-efficient.
9.When starting the engine, we must wait for about 30 seconds to warming up. We must not accelerate before the engine has warmed up which will result in waste of fuel.
10.We must plan our routes very carefully. Sometimes taking a longer route will help as we may be caught in a traffic jam in the shorter route. Also, we must plan our trips in such a manner that we can get several things done in one trip.
11.We can leave the vehicle in the garage and walk or take a public conveyance mode for shopping or visits to relatives and friends who are at a walkable distance. This will be a Double Benefit action as we will not only save fuel, but also we will have some physical exercise in walking.