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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Numbers are down
No price changes this week, however...
While there is something happening in the oil markets besides the threat from swine flu, there is a tense atmosphere that is persiting.
It hasn't reared it's ugly head to traders, as of yet, but it will soon.
What should be happening is a steady drop back in fuel prices along with crude oil, almost to the point where we should be slightly below $30.00 US a barrel, given the contravening evidence.
Markets are witnessing further economic damage, numbers for unemployment keep creeping upwards and inventories of crude oil and it's related, refined commodities are climbing while, the latest figures from the EIA show a slight drop in demand for gasoline and other fuels.
Distillates are bringing the bad news. Heating and stove oil demand is dropping off with the onset of warmer weather and other distillates like diesel and jet fuels, show massive drops in demand numbers, with jet fuel demand down by over nine per cent from last years numbers.
As for gasoline?
Demand numbers now show something that they haven't shown in several weeks. Demand there is also down, even though it may be a paltry .4 per cent against last years numbers for the same time period. It is a foreboding of what is to come, if traders don't notice it soon, they probably will with the next inventory data figures coming out tomorrow; that consumers are hurting out here and the swine flu will only add to the traders misery.
No one is going to travel until this crisis, in a spreading disease that has gone world-wide now, is overwith.
There's a steady trend down, especially with distillates, until the various health agencies world-wide get a grip on this one and, traders using your money and mine, just can't see it yet.
Plane tickets anyone?
In the meantime, here's what I have so far this regulation period:
  • Stove oil and heating oils down by 1.94 a litre.
  • Diesel down by 2.1 a litre, and...
  • Gasoline down by 1.6 or 1.7 cents a litre.

Let's see what happens for the next week, shall we?

Regards,

George

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Slight changes coming for fuel prices
Gas is up a little, distillates showing down

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, April 21, 2009- Consumers won’t see too many changes in fuel pricing when they are set this coming Thursday morning by the Public Utilities Board, that’s according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

What consumers will see this week
“Numbers haven’t changed a great deal over the past two weeks. The markets are at an impasse as it weighs demand against bad economic news. It’s almost like everyone is waiting for something to happen and nothing is”, said Murphy, researcher for the consumer group. Gasoline shows an added 8/10ths of a cent up while the distillates are down. Stove oils are down by 1.26 cents a litre and that could be the way of heating oils. Diesel is also set to drop by 1.2 cents.

Watching Marine Atlantic
“I’m keeping a close eye to the marine fuel numbers as they come in. They are now hanging close to where they were back in 2005, which was the year previous to any added surcharges on passenger fares. With the drop in distillate demand in recent months, it’s going to be interesting to see what Marine Atlantic will do even though we still have to go through another two months of market trading before they come to a decision on adding fuel surcharges once again. In the near term, I don’t feel there will be an increase forth-coming in June as the bad economic news does not provide that upwards pressure to pricing.

Focus off distillates
“Consumers should expect to see a gradual decline in stove, diesel and heating oil prices for the next few weeks. Diesel, an important transportation fuel, will still be susceptible to some chance of upward movement, particularly if refiners continue to cut back on capacity. We have more to fear from inventory draw-downs on gasoline that will help stabilize the price, if not increase gasoline prices slightly in the weeks leading up to the US Memorial Day holiday. We’ll be able to make a summertime prediction on peak gasoline prices by then.

OPEC to meet again
“OPEC has set its next meeting for May 28, 2009 in Vienna. The group will meet again to discuss the current economic situation and talk about the possibility of further cuts to production. It may all be for naught. Figures from the International Energy Agency show that OPEC compliance with its own self-imposed quota has been weak as of late. The group produced almost 770,000 barrels a day more than its 4.2 million barrel cut over the last year. The numbers are even more telling when last weeks report from the US Energy Information Administration reported a good build in crude oil inventory alongside draw-downs of refined products. We could be on the verge of another collapse in crude oil prices if we see more increases in crude oil inventory and continuing weak compliance with quotas.”

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
gasprices@hotmail.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Focus is off heating oils
Summer driving season may be a bust to oil companies

Hi to all...

Just a quickie update not to expect any big changes to pricing this week.
Here's what I have so far, with one more day's data to go.
*Gasoline measures up by 2/10ths of a cent on a litre.
*Stove oil shows down by 1.18 cents a litre which is also indicative of where heating oil will be going. Seems that the focus is off heating oils and we're probably going to start to see some steady declines here with the end of the heating season.
*Diesel also shows down by 1.2 cents a litre.

An update to my blog and a release with the final numbers will be available to all media this evening sometime after the end of today's market trading.

Regards,

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No price changes this week
I'm fresh in the door and back at it after a short week on the west coast.
The message is simple this time...
Nothing happening with prices this week. We'll have to wait for them for next week, but in the meantime, here's what I have so far, all miniscule in nature...
  • Stove oil is down by 82/100ths of a cent.
  • Gasoline is up slightly by 3/10ths of a cent, and...
  • Diesel is down by 6/10ths of a cent.

The stove oil number may be an indicator of where the heating oil number is as well. I'm taking notice now that we're getting into the warmer weather on the markets and distillates will be losing some steam as the summer driving season is on the way.

More on that in the coming weeks...

Regards,

George

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Increases coming to stove, heating and gasoline prices

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, April 8, 2009- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will experience another bump at the pumps when they wake on Thursday morning, that’s according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

What consumers will see
“There has been a lot of volatility in the markets over the past two weeks, especially with refined commodity prices. In spite of recent inventory gains for all fuel groups, prices have been up sharply one day and down the next. That overall trend is adding up to some increases in consumer pricing. Gasoline shows 2.1 cents a litre up, stove oils show 3.14 up and that could be pointing the way towards an increase in heating oil costs as well. It’s still too close to call for diesel, even though my numbers show anywhere between 2/10ths and 2.0 cents down on that fuel,” said Murphy.

Missing opportunity in Central Newfoundland?
“The closure of the Grand Falls-Winsor paper mill is reflective of lost opportunity to break into the green economy in the province. Methanol is fast taking a place as a viable energy product that is added to most fuels to help complete the burning process and can even be used by itself. It also happens to be made from fermenting wood fibre by-products. Abitibi-Bowater should be approached and partnered with the provincial and federal governments to convert the plant to, not only make paper but to refine methanol using its waste by-products that can’t be used in the papermaking process. We’re letting Central Newfoundland die on the vine and we should all be a little more forward in our thinking that we have a place and a role to play in today’s world changes to a green economy. The take-over and expropriation of the power resources belonging to Abitibi-Bowater may have complicated the chances of even approaching the company to try such a venture. Methanol could have been refined there and distributed world-wide through the petrochemical industry using Botwood as an export point; and these export points are also the import points for more conventional fuels around the province, like gasoline and heating oils. These points for transit already exist! And let’s not forget the fact that we have another paper making plant in Corner Brook that could also be on its last legs and in need of a secondary source of funds from wood fibre.

“It’s just not in central regions that a project such as this could have occurred. We have an untold number of wood harvesters and other forestry workers out there tied to an industry that failed to diversify from its sole intent; to make paper. We also have secondary industries that also are connected with the forestry sector, like the transport industry, that can benefit. Today, we can use wood and any other wood by-product, including the recycling of paper, into methanol. We also have a federal government ready to invest into greener energy technologies. The question does have to be asked however; ‘Is it too late to back up now?’

“Imagine if something like this worked, with minimal dollars to convert wood to a viable fuel. In Labrador, where there is a virtually untouched source of wood fibre, the methanol change could help bring about the demise of expensive oils used along the coast for electric generation. It can be a fuel manufactured in Labrador for the benefit of Labradorians. What we have here instead I believe, is a lost opportunity from both levels of government as well as Abitbi-Bowater, to help ensure the security of wood fibre as a source of driving an economy.”


-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
All the numbers are in...
Stove, heating and gasoline to increase
Just a quick word here, to all the readers of the blog...
Here's what I have as of this morning. Sorry it's online here so late but, work has to come first before I can get to play here!
  • Stove oils show an increase of 3.14 cents per litre. This may also be pointing the way for heating oils as well. As a reminder, I still can't get that kerosene number to figure heating numbers out perfectly. We'll see what happens here. To make it easy to figure out, the stove oil number is a rough 25% of the overall winter heating oil blend. Take 25% of 3.14 and add that to the mystery 75% kerosene number to come up with the final tally.
  • Gasoline shows an increase of 2.1 cents a litre, not much change with the extra days data, and...
  • Diesel...Yes, diesel. Last week saw interruption to that fuel that, I felt, was well over 1.8 cents a litre too much. My numbers here show 2/10ths of a cent down so, I'm hoping that the PUB will drop it by the difference as well. In other words, 2.0 cents a litre down, just to bring them back on par with my numbers.

Hope this one helps!

Regards,

George

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Prices still up
Twelve day average numbers show increases
Just to keep everyone in tune as there seems to be some delays with the auto emailer at times, this is just to give everyone the heads up.
Here's what I have so far, 12 days data out of 14 and five of seven for the diesel numbers...
  • Stove oils up by 3.26 cents a litre. This may be an indicator of where heating oil will be going on Thursday.
  • Gasoline shows 2.1 cents a litre upwards for Thursday so far.
  • Diesel shows no increase according to my numbers. I have a problem here though. My base average for diesel before interruption this past Thursday showed an allowable increase of 3.6 cents a litre, just outside the requirements for interruption. I explained then that I couldn't account for any market volitility. As it turned out, prices did interrupt by 5.4 cents so, I know this is way out of line. If my numbers were indeed wrong, I expect the PUB to drop diesel again by the difference of 1.8 cents a litre. My averages on paper here are showing neither increase or decrease. I hope that makes some sense?;)

Anyways, as soon as I have some more numbers for the days up to this Wednesday, I'll be posting here again with the final tally.

Final word. I'm off to Corner Brook and Stephenville next week from Thursday, April 9th to the following Tuesday, April 14th and I'm leaving the computer well away from me for a little break. I will be checking on numbers that Tuesday night and posting any possible changes (it is an interruption week) late that night so, look for my posting Wednesday morning when you rise!

Regards,

George

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Update! All seven days of data are in!


Interruption not likely to gasoline, stove oils
Heating oil and diesel numbers remain questionable

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, April 1, 2009- It’s not likely that consumers will see any changes to some fuel prices this coming Thursday but, heating oil prices are still at risk of price interruption as an important component of the fuel remains a pricing mystery.

“While all numbers are showing up, all fuels with the exception of heating oils will not likely see increases to pricing this week. For interruption to pricing to occur, we have to see an average four cent a litre movement, up or down, from the previous price setting. Numbers were showing that pricing was elevated during the end of last week but backed down over the last three business days. We may have dodged a pricing bullet this week but could still see increases on all levels for next week instead,” said George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Heating oil is a combination of jet fuel and #2 type heating oils and it’s the jet fuel component that we have no price for. While the #2 number shows an increase of 3.3 cents a litre, it’s a mystery what will make up the rest of the price for the fuel. If you need heating oils, I would recommend a ‘buy” option in case the jet fuel number was up this past week as a precautionary measure.

“Gasoline shows up by 2.2 cents a litre, diesel up by 3.6 cents and stove oils (#2) up by 3.3 cents a litre. I’m a little concerned with the diesel number as well as it is close to the average four cent a litre requirement for interrupt to occur. I’m putting a “buy” recommend option on that too; in case there is data that the P.P.O has showing interruption is warranted.”

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member My blog: www.gasandoil.blogspot.com
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
gasprices@hotmail.com