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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.”

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For more information, contact;

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

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