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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Keep a sharp eye out. Could be on the way up next week!

Hi to all...

Just figured that I'd send you al a little notice on this one.

With another one of those meteoric rises to oil pricing underway, from the loks of it, the people of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will be taking the first hit as early as the morning of the 30th.

If the trend keeps up for the next couple of days, Newfoundland and Labrador will be taking the next one...

According to my numbers, there is some slight upwards movement on stove oils and an almost 2 cent a litre (plus taxes) movement on gasoline.

That means we're sure to see another price hike over the $1.00 a litre mark again.

Another draw on all the important fuel groups is telling me we just aren't getting that conservation message out there and simply, WE'RE PIGS BEHIND THE WHEEL.

Here's what I have with heating/stove at 49.08/Litre as of the last adjustment and gasoline at 47.78/Litre...

November 22/06...Heating...48.97...Gasoline...48.97

November 23/06...Heating...48.99...Gasoline...49.00

November 24/06...Heating...48.68...Gasoline...48.69

November 25/06...Heating...48.68...Gasoline...48.69

November 26/06...Heating...48.68...Gasoline...48.69

November 27/06...Heating...50.14...Gasoline...48.68

November 28/06...Heating...50.82...Gasoline...49.78

While the heating number might have averaged lower than my previous fix the last couple of days, heating oil and crude traded higher the last two sessions and continues to trade up. With cold weather forcast in the United States, the motivator of pricing is upwards, so be warned!


Mind you, with heating oil in big demand now, t'is not just the season for to be jolly, we're also a little more merry with turning up the thermostat when it gets a little cold like this too. Can't say I blame you myself for the rise in heating oils with the cold seeping in as it did but, gasoline?... C'mon people... we can do better than what we've been doing can't we?

All we need now is to see OPEC turn back the spigots and we're in big trouble!

Keep an eye out here for the latest release that I'll be posting sometime next Tuesday or Wednesday. I'll have a clearer picture then what's going to happen but, I'd be hitting the pumps Wednesday night coming.

Regards for now!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Slight upwards adjustments coming
Keep an eye to the blog here in the next few days as I will be posting numbers. From the look of things, there is going to be some slight adjustments upwards to gasoline and stove/heating oils.
Not much now mind you, but still up nonetheless!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Night mission- November 1941

Snow on the ground
Crunches underfoot to the sound
Of twin wasps

Into the belly
The keeper of the brain
To the nerve centre for a seat
in the steel cold hardness of war.

Moving slowly o’er the grass
and into the reaches of space.
Into the arms of a waiting enemy
And wishing forever for home…

© George Murphy September 15,1995

Here's another of my little pieces...
What it must have been like, to hop into a plane whose tires may have been frosted to the ground, the interior freezing, and then knowing you might not be back for breakfast.
The plane you're looking at is a Bristol Beaufighter and it's probably this same scene that I saw some time ago that inspired the piece I wrote. The plane is a Bristol Beaufighter, the type that our Newfoundland and Labrador fellows flew for a few years before the Mosquito came in.
This one is again dedicated to everyone who ever serviced a plane outside in freezing temperatures, who ever flew, whoever served, and for whoever may still mourn.
On days such as these, I think we all do.
Remembrance Day isn't far away so, I figured I would put a few in, if for no other reason than to remember the fellows and ladies who died for the right for me to post...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Night mission- November 1941
Frost on the ground
crunches underfoot to the sound,
and vibrations of twin wasps.
Into the belly, the keeper of the brain
to the nerve centre for a seat
in the cold hardness of war.
Moving slowly o'er the grass
and into the reaches of space.
Into the arms of a waiting enemy,
and wishing forever for home........

© George Murphy September 15, 1995

This is one I done some time ago. Picture a Newfoundland pilot crawling into one of these planes on a cold winter night. The pic is a plane called the "Beaufighter", the type used by the 125 Newfoundland squadron in England. Not the same call letters on this one, but might have been a scene that could have taken place when one of our boys took to the English skies. The squadron later converted to Mosquito's. They started off on Bolton Paul Defiants before going to Beaufighters.

I have a few more bits of poetic justice that I'll put up here in the coming weeks, particularly as we get close to Remembrance Day.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Duelling Poets
Dar, dar dar, dar, dar, dar, dar, dee, dar…..

So, we hear the Pickards are done, caput
So sad to see them go.
They’re relegated to play the bard
in some poetic overflow.

In exchange for journalistic fun
They threw lines out in befuddlement,
Alas, no more to get the CBC buck
that small entitlement!

And now, you say, with sharp wit
from this enduring coast of fog.
There has to arise that great white hope
maybe heard about in news or blog?

They’re to inform, cajole, banter,
And get the people talking.
Like the gossipy government worker,
off for dinner and Kent’s Pond walking!

It’s there that you might find him
Walking off poetic prose.
Or it’s her in the Mall a shopping
For Christmas gifts I s’pose!

No wait! That’s her a driving
To her law firm on the streets there just off Water.
Or maybe it’s him in CBS
Who wants to help in poetic slaughter!

They’ll all have to have the streetsmarts
Match words like Harper and Ignatieff
That Harvard raised Canadian
Who didn’t follow Kruschev!

Good hunting I say I hope you find
the replacement for the Dual Pickard poets.
Dunno where you’re gonna look?
C’mon people. Don’t be afraid to show it.

So, what’s the chances of poetic licence
Under the guise of the CBC?
Well, you have to come up with your own words
Get your own rhymes people and leave mine be!

Oh my Geoff what was the trick
The Pickards all played on us?
Why did they plan this vengeance
And start up all this fuss?

They’ve asked us all to go the line
Ah so, what’s the poetic diff?
I still can’t think of a single word
To rhyme with Ignatieff.

I’m trying here Geoff
To think of something to go with entitlement.
But I can’t come up with a thing
To meet the Pickard’s enlightenment!

Ahh, I guess I won’t , but,.. no!… Just wait
I just took that mental jog.
And your listeners can find this piece
right in George Murphy’s Blog!

Cuzz see, I’ve just upped the ante,
And let have it all real nice.
Couldn’t I just find the words,
And with that, I think I got ‘em twice!

The challenge there for all to see
For the next in line of the CBC airwaves bards,
To boldy go with poetic rhyme
And go one up on the dual Pickards!

© George Murphy October 18/06

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Why I'd fill the heating oil tank...

Keeping an eye here to heating/stove oil pricing and I'm thinking that NOW might be a good time to top the tank off and here's the reasons why...

While spot pricing for heating/stove oils dropped back the past couple of weeks, pricing for heating/stove oils have rebounded slightly in the face of possible OPEC cuts that are coming in the next two days.
Spot prices have, in fact, reached a point where any more upwards volitility may lead to early interruption of prices to the important winter commodity. The last three days average a 1.8 cent a litre increase but it's the last business day that is alarming. Yesterdays trading price was 3.6 cents over my month-end fix of 48.10 cents a litre.
Two more good days where heating/stove oil trades up and the possibility is there for interruption of pricing.
That means you'll get to pay a little more for it...

While the numbers could trade down enough in the next day or so enough to prevent early interuption of pricing, that doesn't mean that they'll head downwards.
Au contraire!...
Remember...We're now into the winter heating/stove oil demand season and there are enough conditions out there that warrant close watching by the consumer.
1) Possible OPEC cuts to production.
2) Draws on inventory, or lower than expected production of heating/stove oils.
3) Colder weather. That'll be enough to increase demand ahead of refineries going through the changes to produce heating/stove oil-what they like to call "maintenance".
4) The winter demand season. Because the product is in need at this time of the year, prices have the tendency to rise along with the season.

If Interruption happens, look for the possibility over the next few days as the OPEC news breaks and the markets swallow what they'll tell them and translate that into news the companies like to hear, an increase in pricing to come.

That's it from me for now,


George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Gasoline to Drop...

Not much Change in Heating/Stove oils

Hi to all...
Latest numbers are showing a 1.8 cent a litre drop in gasoline pricing to come to Newfoundland and Labrador while heating and stove oils may not show that much change.
Here's the reason I say that (on heating/stove oils).
According to the last couple of days data, namely from the 9th to the 11th, I have had three sources giving me three different numbers on spot pricing of the products. If I go by the lower number, that shows a .96 cent a litre drop, in other words, almost a cent. If I go to the higher number the markets threw out, that number gets less than that.
In other words, there may be no change.
The latest market news of a drawdown on heating oil inventory is now another reason why I'm telling everyone to fill their tanks now.
Todays data from the Energy Information Administration shows a drawdown on inventories that was larger than what was expected to the commodity.
Add to that, the fact that we are about to enter the winter demand season and we have the imputus to a future increase in pricing.
I reccomend that you all fill your heating/stove oil tanks ASAP.
I have to look at my data after final prices come into effect to know what was the right one to begin with.

Airline News-Please read and pass it on...
As some of you are aware, I am pursuing the whole "fuel surcharge" deal where, the airlines charge extra on airfares to help offset the "increased cost" of jet fuel.
The Air Transport Association of Canada was out this week in response to clims from myself that it was time to reduce the surcharges in light of drops to jet fuel pricing along with drops in crude oil.
They say they're not going to budge.
In an interview with CBC New Brunswick the industry sopkesperson said that "the recent drop in prices are helping the companies make up for losses."
Beg your pardon?...

The airlines of this nation seem to forget that the fuel surcharge the consumer is paying was meant to catch up with the extra costs associated with fuel costs in the first place, were they not?

The facts are these:
1. Three international airlines have now dropped some, or all, of the fuel surcharges they were charging on airfares, so much so, that I can now put about $50 US in my pocket merely by flying with them. KLM, El Al and Lufthansa, have all dropped surcharges on passenger tickets.
2. Air Canada, Canjet, Westjet have yet to move. Air Canada is a member of the Star Alliance that also includes Lufthansa. If lufthansa can drop rates on travel, surely the National airline can?...
3. Jet fuel pricing has dropped from an average of 68 cents a litre ($2.20US a gallon) to roughly 51 centa a litre($1.70 a gallon) since July. Fuel surcharges have been added to ticket pricing since last March by Air Canada. Capture your market share by dropping your price!


Regards for now,


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hang in There Baby!

Keep an eye to the blog in the coming day or two as, I will have details on impending drops in gasoline and heating oils.


Heating oils may drop in the next day or two but we are now in the demand season for the fuel and the international situation may move things back up again. While crude is dropping, the heating oil price is beginning to "even out" a little so, when that price drops, I'd fill the oil tank.

I'll post the release in a day or two, and that will have all the gory details on what's to come, probably the morning of the 12th.

Should show somewhere around 96.6 or so for the st. John's area...



Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Well people?...
I think it's time for the airlines, worldwide at that, to drop some of their ticket surcharges!
Time to make a noise I think!


News release

Jet fuel prices are dropping…

Time for the airlines to remove some charges from consumers’ ticket prices

Paradise, NL. October 04,2006 – While the price of oil has been dropping and resulting commodity prices for gasoline and heating oils have dropped at the consumer level also, the price of airline tickets has not been as responsive to declining crude oil costs.

Consumers everywhere including Newfoundland and Labrador and the rest of Canada as a result, are paying too much for airline tickets that were increased as a result of increasing jet fuel costs. According to Murphy, they've dropped radically in recent weeks.

“While the price for jet fuel has seen a dramatic drop in recent weeks, we have not seen the airlines drop fuel surcharges that consumers were forced to pay as a result of those same increased costs. Prices have dropped and so should airline ticket prices,” said George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices in St. John’s,NL.
“The last time Air Canada increased surcharges on a consumer level, jet fuel prices were recorded by the US Energy Information Administration at almost 68 cents a litre Canadian. Since yesterday, that same price has decreased to 51 cents a litre, a 17 cent a litre drop for which consumers are on the hook.”

All the Canadian airline companies, Air Canada, Westjet and Canjet, applied fuel surcharges to consumers in the face of rising crude oil costs.
Consumers in Canada have been faced with increasing airline ticket prices since the winter of 2001 when crude oil prices started to skyrocket. In recent weeks, crude oil pricing has dropped almost $15 US a barrel.
“The airlines should be honest and up-front with the consumer and give back what they so desperately wanted just a few short months ago. We gave then, are giving now and it’s time the airline industry return the favour and they should act retroactively for anyone about to take a trip.” He said.


For more information, contact:

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Now they've taken our colours
from that burgundy to Tory blue,
So, I have to change my Newfoundland tartan
because they'll want to change that too...
Oh, Here we have party colours
and on my knapsack I'll have to stitch'er,
but it's the first time I ever saw that plant
this time, without the pitcher!
Well, the experts got together
and set out designs on the cabinet table,
a limited target audience,
these were the ones enabled?
How much did they say they paid for that?
For a million they missed the Target,
for a cartoon look and feel
They want to take that to market?
God guard thee Newfoundland and Labrador
from sun-up to sun down,
please change their minds from this look and feel
that looks like something from a clown...
George Murphy

I simply couldn't resist!...The only thing I did like about this was the type of font used. Other than that, the weak link to Labrador and the sick looking Pitcher Plant...and dropping the old Newfoundland and Labrador reddish-ocre colour.Call it burgundy, but I loved it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

News Release News Release


Hi to all...

Just to let you all know that I have the numbers that alow for downwards movement of fuels I am tracking. Interruption criteria calls for an average of 3.5 cents a litre-up or down-movement over a five day period.

Heating oil shows a downwards movement by 3.96 cents a litre which should also be the same for stove oils.

Gasoline shows a 3.52 cent a litre over the last five days-downwards- and that means, if my numbers are right, gasoline will come down by 3.43 cents a litre plus taxes (3.9 or 4.0 cents a litre).

Heating/stove oils showed interruption as of yesterday and pricing should be adjusted down to the consumer as of 12:01A.M this coming Saturday, September 23/06. Good builds of inventory the last couple of weeks has figured well into downwards drops in spot pricing and we're hopeful that this will continue and not factor into high winter pricing.

Heating/stove oil spots are now 13 cents a litre below last years levels. What a turnaround!

Gasoline shows that pricing will be adjusted down as of Sunday morning, September 24/06 by the 3.9 or 4.0 cent a litre figure. Gasoline spots are now 12 cents below the same day for last year as well. No hurricanes, good inventories in the aftermath of the summer driving season and a somewhat stable international political situation are keeping things down-for now.

While my number is within the confines of my margin for error of 3/10ths of a cent, adjustment may not occur that morning but on Monday morning. That's because gasoline traded down again today by 4 cents US per gallon which brings the margin for error in line with what's happening out there in the markets.

Certainly, by Monday morning, gasoline will be down in the 98 cents a litre bracket.

Mind you, the companies don't have to wait for official word from the Public Utilities Board! We dare someone to "go for market share" in the interim. The Petroleum Pricing Office sets a maximum allowable and companies are free to charge below the regulated maximum if they "so wish".

Let's see what they do.

Regards for now,

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Thursday, September 14, 2006

International Atomic Energy Agency cracks Bush...
Look for Oil Pricing to Drop Further...

Seems that George Bush and his cronies at the Huse and Senate Intelligence Committee will be eating crow for the next couple of weeks,or until they can find another reason to poke a warlike stick at Iran. He should never have started to rub the bottle-poor George!

According to a story on CNN tonight, the United Nations world energy watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency wrote to George's crowd and scolded them for a dishonest case against Iran's nuclear intentions calling their findings "outrageous and dishonest".

George?...Lie?...Naw!...say it ain't so!...

According to the report, the IAEA wrote to the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee who claimed that Iran's nuclear program of enriching uranium was meant for nuclear weapons. The Committee had been claiming that Iran was using it's enrichment program for the sole purpose of nuclear weapons manufacture. Iran is far from the possibility according to the IAEA.

Look for the possibility of further downwards movement in crude, gasoline and heating oil pricing on the news.

Looks like Big Oil might take the kick on this one as well as the oil-rich Bush family. Let's hope that the United Nations can turn this one back on them all!



Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Numbers confirmed...Heating,Stove and Gasoline to Drop...

They say that "When you're in Rome, do as the Romans do..." That being the case, my numbers are already indicating a drop at the pump and heating truck level to come to Newfoundland and Labrador cnsumers as early as September 15th 12:01 A.M.

There's not a lot of rocket science to the fact that,if I have the numbers then, they must have them too.

Numbers show that heating/stove oil pricing will drop back another 4.41 cents a litre while gasoline will drop back by 5.3 cents a litre.Why are they waiting?

Thankfully, because spots on heating and stove oils dropped again this month, we're now at a situation where we are almost 5 cents a litre below last years levels. I'm not saying that we're out of the woods on the heating pricing issue for the winter though.

Far from it because, in essence, we got lucky as consumers....

We're in a bit of a "null" now where ,traditionally, we have seen heating and stove oil pricing begin to increase in price, to peak sometime in February.The last time I saw pricing drop back in this manner was in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks when airline traffic went to crap and distillate inventory rose as a result.

With a very contentious situation with Iran and the European Union negotiations over Iran's nuclear program still going, any turnabout in negotiations may very well leave Iran using it's 4.5 million barrel per day oil production capacity as a weapon against the west in the event of a series of economic sanctions placed on it by the United Nations.They may not shut off the spigots but, they can very well turn back output and that's enough to reverse the downwards trend in heating oil pricing we're witness to right now.

Guess we have to take another "wait and see" attitude before we're free and clear for the winter season.

Keep the blankets handy though...



Friday, September 08, 2006

Prices Pointing Down...Hold off at the Pumps...
and the Heating Oil Truck too...

Just to let you all know in Atlantic Canada as well as Newfoundland and Labrador that I am tracking a decent drop in fuel pricing to come to the consumer over the coming days.
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick consumers should be looking at a decrease anywhere around 2 to 3 cents at the pumps while, on the 15th here on the Rock, we could see anywhere around 6 cents a litre-IF things keep up.
The last couple of days have been steadily down and that is also reflected at the heating oil level. Heating oils are down by about three cents a litre as of the 6th and, I'm hoping that will keep down until the last business days leading up to the 11th.

More on the 12th as regards to what we'll be seeing then...



Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another Hurricane This way Comes...

A look at the National Hurricane Center's website might give one pause for concern, certainly if you reside anywhere where the storm may land.

I tend to observe what they do to the oil markets at times like this.Lucky for all of us consumers out there, this one isn't headed for the Gulf of Mexico. I am waiting for the excuse come Wednesday next week where the Energy Information Administration might say something like "Imports of crude oil were disrupted last week as a result of the storms on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts."

Interesting as it is, a storm like this one entered into the Gulf of Mexico twice last year and we all payed for it, not that it was necessary mind you. In the after-effects of Katrina and Rita last year, prices spiked to the highest since the Arab oil embargo of the 1970's. Back then, lineups at the pumps were a common sight and with Rita's promise of "damage" we lined up ourselves again. The traders in the oil exchnges also lined up, but for a different reason. They all collected the highest commissions that were earned off our backsides.

We paid for it...

While there was damage to oil infrastructure, inventories didn't dry up, the US government loaned "Big Oil" some of it's strategic reserve and an "imagined" shortfall never happened.

Just to let you oil traders and oil companies know; that your policies of putting oil infrastructure in dangerous places and speculating on the damage that can be caused, is not going un-noticed by the consumer out there and "we are on our toes" looking out for that next excuse you'll be using to reap from the consumer field.
Justified you might say?
I think not...

What have we learned from all this?...

We've learned that "Big Oil" will fall back on any excuse in a co-ordinated attack against our wallets, that "Big Oil" expects us not to re-act, that we had better watch the weather and don't buy property in Florida.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Drop in Heating and Stove Oils Coming...

Just to let you all know that I have the numbers that show for interruption of heating and stove oil pricing here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Heating and stove oil prices should drop as of Tuesday morning,September 05/06 by some 2.59 cents a litre. If present spot pricing continues, we may even see another slight downwards move in pricing come the 15th.

While not a big lot, this drop comes at the end of the summer driving season when, traditionally, we see prices drop back at the start of the summer season. That didn't happen until today.

Too many international factors exist that are not allowing me to change my forcast for almost 90 cents a litre at peak this coming winter. Factors like continuing Middle East unrest, the Iraq war, Nigeria and the possibility that Iran could use oil as an economic weapon in it's quest to continue with it's nuclear program all are making for an uncertain market.

What may help me change my mind?

A drop in distillate demand like diesels because of an economic slowdown, drop in jet fuel demand or excellent builds in heating oil inventories. Maybe even a little devine intervention here?

It's awfully late for the drop to happen as it is but, we'll take it.



Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Prices Dropping...

While my mass mailer is down, I'm in the position of sending out some rather inglamorous emails that the media have been reporting on.
I'm only sorry that I couldn't get the latest info out to everyone...
I am thankful that the media has acted on the little notes I sent out this morning and, it's through them that I have been able to get the word out of the direction gasoline pricing has been heading the last few days.


Anyways, the word for the wise is out there now and I couldn't be happier. Today that elusive dollar a litre doesn't look so far away and we might have been successful in keeping millions on the Rock the past couple of weeks!

Regards and until next time!


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sometimes You Win One...
Every now and then I get to thinking that maybe I should just quit doing this predicting stuff and just "let it be", you know, let it slide and take it all as it comes.
Then I woke up...
When I'm tracking daily spot prices for gasoline and heating oils I am often to think of everyone else who might be a little worse off than myself. I'm thinking back almost a week and a half ago when I noticed the big drop in spot pricing that occurred immediately after the start of the Middle East ceasefire and the threat of attacks against US airliners from England.
I noticed in the daily numbers that oil happened to be going through a little "troubled period" and prices were in a precipitous decline.
I used it for a test...
I decided that, after the news broke that I would see how many of these independents out there would drop back their prices before the Petroleum Pricing Office would and that I would challenge "Big Oil" with the opportunity to compete- you know, let them know we were watching them.Gawd love the Open Line radio shows for giving the opportunity to do so because everyone who listenedout there heard it. NTV came calling and they gave opportunity to tell the numbers again...I had them and they do too.Anyone want to chance dropping pricing?...Nope...
Spot pricing for gasoline-for the time period in question from the 8th of August to the 17th fell by almost nine cents a liter and this was not being reflected in the prices anywhere at the pumps around the Province.
Because the PPO set pricing based on the past months activity as of the 11th of the month allowing for that three day time period for notification to the oil companies I said,"Let's see what the companies do...". Spot pricing from that day (11th) averaged 67 cents for the whole month and we saw a 2/10ths of a cent drop that, according to my numbers, was warranted for time period measured.
August 10/06 numbers showed a 58.81 cent per litre cost and that number trended like that for the next couple of business days. I knew they had leeway and plenty of it but the companies never took the chance to avail themselves of capturing their "market share".
Somewhere along the line, someone was making a hell of a lot of money...almost 23.5 cents a litre over and above the basic costs for the stuff in the first place.
I knew the numbers would be there for the PPO to interrupt the regular time period for setting of pricing but a quick call to the local Open Line radio shows and an appearance on a local TV station may have set the Petroleum Pricing Office into acting what I was thinking-that this was an extraordinary downwards pricing measurement that was gross in the extreme and that it had to be addressed- the sooner the better.
They did act earlier than the anticipated and the result is a 9.6 cent a litre decrease this morning and one "pissed off" retailer in the Grand Falls area that supposedly "lost thousands".
Let me say this...
Since the eigth, you made in excess of what was the acceptible under the rules and had plenty of room to maneuver and lower prices but failed to do so, and you say you "lost thousands"?...
What a crock!...
What you told us was that you took the consumer for as much as you could while the arse fell out of the basic cost over the intervening nine business days and you tried to fleece us for a few more days up to the Tuesday re-adjustment time right?
Uh uh..
Sorry...The world doesn't work like that any more. The fact is is that, if a hurricane brewed up in the Gulf of Mexico tomorrow morning and world supply got disrupted, you'd be the first to say that you need an immediate upwards adjustment to pricing to allow for that and we'd all have to give in to that.
Don't hand me that melarchy that you "lost thousands" and try to pass that one off on me.
I got the figures to back me up.
If you're reading this blog, have a look at the latest spots yourself and judge...
August 07/06...68.03/Lt
August 08/06...66.93
August 09/06...64.93
August 10/06...58.81
August 11/06...60.73/Lt
PPO steps in and re-adjust pricing to reflect past months pricing based on 67.46 cents a litre or $1.22.3 cents a litre to the consumer.
August 14/06...58.81/Lt
August 15/06...59.67
August 16/06...58.84
August 17/06...57.49
August 18/06...58.37/Lt
PPO step in and re-adjust pricing to the consumer by 9.6 cents a litre down to reflect market conditions. My new fix is 58.63 a litre.
I got my numbers.
Show me yours....
(p.s) Thanks to the PPO for rolling pricing back when they did.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Petrochemical Program-Something Missing Here...

I'm often asked which of the points programs are a benefit whenever you go out to get gas. Interesting to note that I don't use some gas stations for the simple reason that I don't get anything from them so, sometimes I can be the discerning client.

Sometimes I like to treat myself...

I couldn't help but notice that another one of the big companies is trying to rope the consumer into a huge line of credit and interest rates all at the detriment of the consumer. I sometimes think that a lot of us are just plain stupid. Now Petro-Canada wants you to apply for a credit card/ Petro-points card that gets you two cents off a litre. They also want you to believe that that 47% crude cost makes up part of the cost at the pumps...Now there's hogwash! Here's Canada's oil company hauling away Newfoundland and Labrador crude off our shores from Hibernia at $13.00 cost to the wellhead and their share of the "daily oil" is selling for almost $75 bucks a barrel.

Perhaps you want to re-jig that 47% number?...Don't you know that the refining sector has been Petro's moneymaker too, with about $30 bucks a barrel going in the bank?...My!

Brutal it is!

Surprise Canada!

Ultramar offers the two cents off provided you buy more than 25 litres and Canadian Tire, with their coupons, you can do a little better through exchanges of Canadian Tire money for in-store product and some cases, cash.

Both programs don't charge you interest on a credit card for that stuff back even though they have their credit cards too.They have other viable options.

What is it with "Canada's Oil Company?"...

Here on the Rock, they charge the most expensive prices for heating oils in the St. John's area and now the Petro guys want to nail you hand in hand with the banks.

I say "No thanks"...

Here's something to consider if I still don't have you thinking...

A quart of oil here costs the consumer $3.99 at the local Canadian Tire and that can be quickly had at the cost of two fill-ups at their gas bars. Last time I got a quart at Petro-Canada, and thank God they sold all their branches in Newfoundland,it cost me $4.99. That was a while before they sold the shop to North Atlantic.

Considering that, on the mainland, Canadian Tire gives money back on fuel as well as dollars to consumers to shop at Sobey's, then maybe PetroCanada should consider the grocery business. They've already started on the banking industry.

Trouble is, the banking industry are seen as crooks...(ahem!)

Two cents off with an application for a line of credit too?...No sale!

Hey PetroCanada. Here's a message for the comunications people and the ones at the top trying to turn a profit...

How about something tangible to MATCH what Canadian Tire gives?...How about competing with them more rather than trying to squirm a few more people into getting a high interest credit card...

I'm just plain glad that they're almost off the Rock.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sorry I haven't been posting lately but things have been really busy on my end. I'll try and keep up again though, I dunno. Here's my latest release warning of an imminent price increase coming to Newfoundland and Labrador consumers of heating and stove oil product.

Some warnings to governments provincially and federally here. They might want to dive in and heed the warnings. Troble here is that, wherever you might be,if you use heating oils, you might also be affected.

If you have any questions on the release, drop me a line.

Early Interruption-Heating Oil

Numbers show an unprecedented summer increase in heating oil pricing

News Release

Paradise, NL, August 05/06 – According to numbers that the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices are tracking on a daily basis, consumers of heating and stove oils could be facing an increase to consumer pricing as early as Tuesday, August 08/06. Numbers are showing that the Interrupter formula criteria have been met and that means an early adjustment in pricing, in this case, upwards by 2.23 cents per litre.

“What makes this increase almost unprecedented is the fact that we are still in a “non-demand” season for heating and stove oil product and this pricing has been heading in the opposite direction,” according to George Murphy the group’s researcher. “Numbers for heating and stove oils are showing a disturbing trend this year with very little or no decrease in pricing ahead of the winter demand season. Because the numbers for heating and stove oils are still up, we could be facing one of the most contentious heating seasons this coming winter,” added Murphy.

To complicate matters, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro recently applied to the Public Utilities Board for rate increases that could come to the consumer in early January 2007 one of the reasons for the coming increase being higher crude oil acquisition costs. “This is a double whammy for any consumer looking to heat their home this winter.

While consumers could be looking at the adjustment in pricing, they could also be looking at another increase when the regular adjustment period coming on August 15th. Numbers need to drop back over the next five business days considerably before we see no upwards adjustment again by that time,” according to Murphy.

“This is a warning sign to both the federal and provincial governments that consumers in this province and this country face a very hard winter as regards to keeping warm if the present trends in world energy pricing and usage continues. We are now some 6 cents a litre higher than the same time period for last year and that should be saying something. The federal government needs to re-instate home retrofit programming in this country to help out those in need and both governments need to return some of their royalty monies back to the people who own the resources that profits are taken from,” Murphy said. “There are options but neither government has been producing any to the public over the past couple of weeks and we need to hear something sooner rather than later.”


For more information, contact

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
709.685.6186 cellular


Here’s what I have over the past while since the last adjustment in pricing. Keep an eye out on the gasoline numbers as well as they are also pointing up for the end of the regulation period.

Heating/Stove oil = 56.02/Litre Gasoline = 64.48/Litre

DATE Crude Oil Heating Gasoline Canadian vs US $
$ US Cents/Lt Cents/Lt
July 12/06 74.95 57.90 66.06 $1.1335 = $1 US
July 13/06 76.70 59.73 66.94 $1.1319
July 14/06 77.03 59.38 67.65 $1.1274
July 17/06 75.31 57.71 67.16 $1.1322
July 18/06 73.55 56.67 66.62 $1.1336
July 19/06 72.67 56.75 65.98 $1.1353
July 20/06 73.09 56.07 66.71 $1.1341
July 21/06 73.94 56.96 68.18 $1.1374
July 24/06 74.71 57.30 69.04 $1.1416
July 25/06 73.41 56.58 68.07 $1.1414
July 26/06 73.95 56.88 68.24 $1.1378
July 27/06 74.55 58.58 69.08 $1.1345
Interruption-Gasoline. New Fix = 67.47/Litre
July 28/06 73.25 57.49 67.95 $1.1298
July 31/06 74.41 58.34 69.59 $1.1309
August 01/06 74.92 59.82 71.49 $1.1305
August 02/06 75.82 61.15 72.43 $1.1259
August 03/06 75.47 61.00 71.66 $1.1263
August 04/06 74.77 60.21 67.89 $1.1270
Total spot =1048.52
Divide by: 18 days = 58.25
Allowable Increase= +2.23/Litre

Interruption occurs when the last five days spot pricing averages 3.5 cents a litre over or below the previous fix in pricing. In this case, numbers averaged greater than 3.5 cents a litre from the previous fix of 56.02 from the last adjustment time.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


The picture you see is the construction of another offshore oil production/drilling platform at Stavanger, Norway.


Wish it was here!...

The reality is now that, we have about six days left to get Exxon/Mobil, Chevron and the rest of the consortium back to the bargaining table and get a deal signed for the development of the Hebron-Ben Nevis oil field.

Reading an article in the New York Times on the stand that the Newfoundland and Labrador government has taken in negotiations has got me thinking about the implications of what is going to happen in the immediate St.John's area in the coming months,let alone the rest of the province. Already, I've noticed that the "for sale" signs are on the lawns a little longer and real estate agents are starting to have backed up inventories of properties that can't be moved.
You might have to register with the Times to get it.
See Danny's interview with the New York Times here:!HbQ51Q51pkQ27kQ3CQ3CQ7BQ27Q3CQ7BQ27-Q2AQ27zPHatVHHQ27Q3BQ51b8RzPHatVHHQ27-Q2AQ51a8Q2B)pF8

It's the last line of the story that gets to me and I'll quote:
"I'm independently wealthy, so I'm not in the pay of any particular group or industry.I'm able to take tough stands"...

Trouble here is that, the common joe here is not independently wealthy,but we'd certainly like to have the chance".....

It's getting just a little bit slower in the taxi too...

If the deal gets shelved in six days time, cabbies in the St. John's area will have another couple of dry years where no one cares. I'm sure they remember the days of heading up to YYT and picking up the odd $140.00 fare to Bull Arm from someone freshly landed. The construction jobs at Bull Arm kept the Avalon and surrounding areas humming.

If the deal dies, so does the four billion dollar construction project for a new offshore platform.

My sources in Texas tell me it would have been the first of two.

Work gone, the chance to advance the province and to keep some of our kids home for a change. The chance to do something POWERFUL for a section of rural Newfoundland and Labrador. The longer it sits under the waves, the more likely we'll lose the construction project and the more likely that the companies will "glory-hole" the project and use the Hibernia platform to get the stuff up from the seabed.

Gone is another opportunity to advance the cause of building an oil industry, but perhaps Danny wants to do the deal on his own?....Lower Churchill...Hebron...What's next?...Orphan Basin?

Just where does the government draw the line on who has the right to the resource?

It's six days and counting...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's the Final Countdown...

School is out this year on June 21st, not long away now, and it's been a heck of a year.
God knows it's been a hard one both for students, teachers, and parents.
For some it is also a day of reckoning for,when the end of the year comes, there won't be anything left to hold back some oil company employees who traded houses in places like Calgary,Alberta to start a new life amidst the prospects of founding another major oil field off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.
For when the school year ends, so will the prospects of those same families staying in Newfoundland. The arguement has been made that, maybe the Premier was playing a little too hard when it came to negotiations for royalties and other benefits from our resources and that's what has caused all the problems. The Hebron-Ben Nevis deal will die a slow and inglamorous death at the hands of a few who pushed just too hard.
What I hear is that the provincial government drove hard to have royalties paid out on the oil type there at $40 a barrel US while the oil companies agreed to $50 bucks a barrel, a $10 a barrel difference. That's what might have caused the province to lose a $4 billion dollar offshore platform that was just a little smaller than the Hibernia platform itself.
That's not all...
My sources in Texas also tell me that there was to be a second platform constructed immediately after the first was completed...
How much did we lose?....Really...
While an Irish billionaire explores the Placentia Bay area for a suitable site for a refinery and the world thirsts for our resource, did we let loose the dogs to play in someone elses yard?
Did we let the "kids out from school" without learning from them ourselves that, we could have had so much more in the way of benefits like keeping our kids here to work. Did we founder away our human resource to keep our natural resources in the ground?
Has the chance for a major step into the petroleum development field been thwarted by $10 bucks a barrel that couldn't have been negotiated to rise if the price of oil again rose along with it?
We've forgotten about escalator clauses my friends, and a St.John's lawyer was the first one to forget.
We've got until June 21/06 to get negotiations up and going again or it's going to be hard times on the Rock in another year or so. Get the adults in government and Chevron back to the table now before the kids get out of school because if not, we'll lose a lot more than royalties on $10 bucks a barrel.
As of today, we've got 7 days left to save it ...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Al-Zarqawi Pays His Price

The man at the left got bagged today by the US military in a precision strike that was aimed at taking this character out in the first place.
Responsible for Gawd knows how many deaths, alledgedly he also was leading insurgents in attacks on Iraqi oil infrastructure.
Funny darned thing...
Every time you get a little positive news in the oil markets,there's always something that screws things up to the consumer.
When his "passing" was first announced this morning, oil prices, in electronic trading, lost well over $1.50 US on a barrel.

Lo and behold, the New York Mercantile Exchange opens and what happens?...
Oil is down today by .47 to it's close at $70.35US a barrel.

Gawd love the whole notion of security of supply and terrorism concerns that were expressed in the markets overseas this morning. Gone was the larger than expected drop that should have been seen in the markets in North America.
Gone is the notion that a "little good news" like this should have to the consumer and, gone should be the notion that we sit and not see anything done about it.

Is the exchange in New York the problem with pricing in itself?

I dunno about that but, I think we all know that there are huge commissions being paid out to keep them up!



Monday, April 10, 2006

Surely,The Gods Are Laughing!...

$80 Bucks US is a Distinct Possibility Compliments of Bush
Here we go again!...
It must be pre-ordained that,if your father has been president,or another president has unfinished business,then you have to step up to the plate.
The price of oil is hitting the roof today because the joker on the bomb just happened to be picking the Iran nuclear program as a possible scenario for the use of a strategic nuclear weapon.The picture immediately to the left is missing the strategic oil target it's meant to hit and not some forlorn railway crossing in the middle of nowhere...
The simple fact that Bush has alledgedly had his generals talk about a "strategic" nuclear device-a bunker buster type bomb- to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities means one thing-that the US has so far over-extended itself that it sees no easier way to try and win an arguement.
In all this should be stark and staring warnings that something is amiss with the people who thought this one up.
I think it was James Madison who said, and I quote...
"No nation could preserve it's freedom in the midst of continual warfare"
Attention America because George W. has you surrounded!
Do you know what the president is doing or,as a matter of fact,does anyone?
Everytime I go to the pumps,I wonder...
Why is it that we can't sit back and see what the United Nations is ready to do before we let the "Bush Factor" weigh in on the world situation?
The reality here is that I'd rather see United Nations influence on oil prices rather than ol' George W.
What we're witness to is an Iraq repeat performance.We just don't know when the show starts.
Only George W. knows that one...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Did Danny Overshoot the Runway?...
I'm just here going through my numbers and some long dusty facts on oil.
I'm thinking tonight and it hurts...
Did we just bear witness to the shutdown,at least on a temporary basis,the burgeoning offshore oil industry in Newfoundland & Labrador?
Knowing that super royalties were to be paid in the eventuality that the oil industry were to walk into
Hebron-Ben Nevis and develop the field,was it that attractive for Danny to want to walk in and try to scoop the companies when the hard work was already done?
When was the last time you were given equal share in a company after it started to profit and expect to get in at a bargain basement price?...
A possible shutdown of the field until prices rebound is a possibility but the fact that the Newfoundland and Labrador government now has an equity position means that it would in fact,lose an awful lot of money should prices collapse...
And we'd have nothing to show for it...
The Newfoundland & Labrador government should just stay out and stick to putting it's royalty monies into the things we truly need-a vibrant economy that's crude oil and fishery based,and pay for the things we elect members to get for us.
The ground work was already set and we now have Hibernia,Terra Nova and White Rose.
Hebron Ben Nevis was a hard nut to crack with the possible construction of a $4 billion dollar gravity-based structure set to start soon until Danny wanted a part of something he played no role in.
And at $65 bucks a barrel we could have had $10 billion dollars in the bank...
The realities of crude prices falling is remote at best unless the world condition changes and until that happens we're likely to have been witness to the loss of more than the $10 billion conservative estimate of royalties.
Isn't that the total debt of the province as we know it?...
And,if we,as consumers,are to get our hands on a safe,secure guarenteed supply of crude oil into the North American market and become the hinge by which OPEC dependency is to be broken then perhaps Danny and the Tories along the east coast should keep their hands out of the cookie jar.
Make an investment into the reasons WHY oil companies should set up shop here and we'll be all the better for it...
The interest was least,up until yesterdays news...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Shoot First and Answer the Questions Later...

Seems that the sky's the limit when it comes to the government raking in bucks from taxes on heat doesn't it?

That is,until today...
Bernard Lord,the Premier of New Brunswick just saved our Consumer Group a heck of a lot of work and may very well have landed himself in hot water with the other Atlantic Canadian premiers.
My understanding of the HST Agreement signed between the Canadian federal government and the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador,Nova Scotia and New Brunswick was that no province could make a change to it's taxation without the consent of the other co-signees to the initial Agreement.
The reality of it all is that if Mr.Lord weren't in a minority government position this "Energy Policy" renewal probably wouldn't have happened-a time when he has a tenuous hold on power.
The Agreement,signed to in 1997/98 was meant to lower taxation levels on all consumer items but it ended up taxing items that never had a level of provincial taxation as well.Some of those items included heating oils and electricity,two of the most important winter needs a Canadian could have.
It's also a health concern...
On March 28/01,ironically the same day five years earlier,our group called the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices also had a petition for the removal of taxes off "heat" presented in our local House of Assembly.Some 55 thousand people over a stormy 3 weekends and also online,signed the petition.It was one of the most heavily signed petitions that was ever presented and garnered in the province to that point.
Fast forward to Nova Scotia this past couple of weeks where one Mr.John Hill of Dartmouth,Nova Scotia is literally working from the end of his driveway in getting people to sign his petition for the removal of taxes off "heat".
We've also helped Mr.Hill in his drive by posting his petition at our website and,so far,some groups from the outlying areas of Nova Scotia have increased the odds of the goal being reached there.
Thanks to Lloyd and crew in Cape Breton,Mr.Hill also has a group going door to door to get names to present this coming few days.
We're almost there!...
This is an opportune time and one I wouldn't have missed for the world...To find Atlantic Canada in a situation where there are three Tory governments and all of them being forced to work with each other for the benefit of the consumer!...
With all the revenues that Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have coming in from $65 dollar a barrel oil right now and all the revenues renewed from the Atlantic Accord...Tell the truth now....Should we have been made to wait this long only to hear Bernard Lord make the announcement first?...
That's a Tory for ya!....

Monday, March 27, 2006

Moratorium on Refinery Closures Needed....

Hurricane Katrina should have hard lessons...
In the wake of the hurricanes that struck the refining centers on the coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico last September,the consumer was left at the whim of the mercantile exchanges in North America.
For more than a few days,consumers paid through the hilt for petroleum products that we came to be dependent upon in our daily lives.
Maybe we're complacent?...
Fact of the matter was that,with ever increasing demand,we were left "shortchanged" for something we came to need on a daily basis.
In the recent past,especially in Canada,policies more commonly known as "reciprocal sales arrangements" allowed for the sharing of inventory between companies and that,in itself,allowed for the closure of refineries.Companies didn't have to have a refinery in it's company operations if it were found that supply could be acquired elsewhere.In this case,it was off the company it was supposed to be competing against!
Seems odd doesn't it?...
The latest refinery closure in Canada was a facility in Sarnia,Ontario where,according to the release at the time,it was too expensive to change the refinery to something a little more environmentally friendly and,as a result,some 300,000 barrels a day of "capacity" was removed from the North American and Canadian markets...
I can think of several refineries in Atlantic Canada that have shut their doors and packed up and moved to the Middle East,closer to their sources of supply,Dartmouth's Ultramar facility and the old "Golden Eagle" facility in Holyrood Newfoundland and Labrador to name two...
That's just in Canada...
While it may be argued that refiner margins were very low in the late 90's and into the 2000 years,it also had to be argued that refining isn't the only branch that consists of the makings of an oil company.An oil company encompasses everything from the exploration end of the industry down to the sale at the pump and the industry has long forgotten it's responsibility to compete let alone support what it entered into in the first place.
The hard,object lesson of the hurricane season should be dire warning that governments on both a federal and state/provincial level should both place a moratorium on any refinery closures in the future and also that it should pursue the construction of new refineries close to their sources of supply.
Be it on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and Labrador,Sable Island resources off Nova Scotia or the vast resources of crude oil in Alaska,not a drop of crude oil should sail for the hurricane ravaged refining areas until Big Oil recognizes the tenuous situation it has put the consumer into.
Secondary processing is a must and Big Oil needs to move from the Gulf of Mexico...
It's something I've been calling for now for a long time and,now with the advent of "Hurricane Syndrome" on the markets of the New York Mercantile Exchange raging already this spring,it's something finally being thought about by the people looking after the resources on behalf of their people.
After all,it's about time isn't it?...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I'm sitting here wondering after all the years I've been monitoring pricing,why analysts are basing futures gasoline pricing on a simple fact that there's not enough ethanol on the markets...
There's plenty of gasoline coming into North America.
According to the US Energy Information Administration,imports of fuel are way up compared to last year at this time and gasoline supply sits slightly higher than where it was.
Market speculators are saying right now that the fear of lawsuits from the use of an additive called MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether) a known carcinogen and the ruination of the Santa Clara California water supply,in gasolines as an oxygenate,is forcing the oil companies into doing something that they should have done a long time ago-be environmentally friendly.
Ethanol,an alchohol by-product in the fermenting of corn,has been known now for a long time to be an acceptible additive to replace MTBE in fuels and has been known as such for almost 30 years.
Plenty of time has gone by for "Big Oil" to come to it's senses...
Or,is it "It's cents's"?...
Now a "motivator" in this summers upwards movement in prices,the ethanol industry in North America is set to boom and "Big Oil" is set to take advantage...
While doors may be starting to open for places like Newfoundland and Labrador for farmers to get into another possible industry or sideline,the simple fact remains that everyone has known for a long time that ethanol would be replacing MTBE as an additive and everyone just might be responsible for the "shortage" of gasolines we are told we might be facing this summer.
We as a people should be charging our governments with the mandate to ensure adequate supplies of ethanol in the future...
We let "Big Oil" have this round...
Pardon the pun but,it does sound "corny" doesn't it?...
Seems the only place that might have been ready for the production of ethanol was the state of Iowa who,as a necessity,came forward with a varitible side industry for corn because it simply grew too much of the stuff.
With the waning days of MTBE before us,let's hope Iowa can grow a heck of a lot more!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I'm a St.Mary's fisherman fishing St.John's
driving the city with the fishery gone
and like the salt water,people to go
waterhaul,waterhaul, haul-away o...
I cast out my net in waters bittersweet
same as I did but now from the street
My dory's a Ford that drives to and fro
waterhaul,waterhaul,haul-away o...
Just a bare living like my father before
I strain at the wheel like him at the oars
and I'm driving mad others go with the flow
waterhaul,waterhaul,haul-away o...
So,I'm headed home now with little in hand
just like from the waters where Dad took his stand
and just like the waters that wash to and fro
waterhaul,waterhaul,haul-away o...

George Murphy February 17/05

May I digress!
I wrote this one a while back about a fisherman who couldn't fish anymore and had to settle for crawling in behind the wheel of a cab to make a buck.
A waterhaul is a Newfoundland and Labraor fisherman's term for coming up with nothing in the net when it came time to pull it in.Cabbies here don't get a job to where they've been sent when they get a waterhaul.
Some might think that this is going to be the future of the fisherman if the offshore oil industry starts to take precident over the big bucks of the oil companies.I just couldn't resist posting this one!