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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Price spike warning!

After Christmas blues, or positive economic news from the world markets, either way, numbers show prices moving up this week!

Here's what I have for the "six day":
  • Heating and stove oils show an increase of 1.42 cents.
  • Diesel shows an added 1.5 cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows an additional 3.2 cents to prices for Thursday coming.
I'll be back tomorrow night with the full seven days of data, but it doesn't look good for the week, regardless of what happens tomorrow.

Catch you here then!

George

Update!

The "seven day" now shows some slight change in the numbers for this week. Here's what I have:
  • Heating and stove oils to increase by 1.37 cents.
  • Diesel to increase by 1.4 cents, and...
  • Gasoline to increase by 3.0 cents, a drop of two tenths from yesterday's numbers.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Numbers up for most fuels

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, December 21, 2010 - Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will see a slight upwards movement in prices when the PUB adjusts prices this Thursday. That's according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

"There hasn't been a big move in oil prices, but refined commodity prices are another thing, albeit they haven't moved a great deal. I expect heating and stove oils to increase by 1.13 cents a litre, diesel to increase by an even penny, and gasoline to increase by 1.2 cents a litre. These numbers are up slightly as a result of an increase in the US dollar against the Canadian currency with the canuck buck losing almost a cent and a half against its US counterpart," said Murphy.

"Distillates remain under heavy pressure as a result of colder weather in both the US and Europe and that has helped to support oil prices as well as support those fuels from the distillate group of fuels, namely diesel, heating and stove oils. As we enter into the depths of the heating season, I expect that upwards pricing pressure will continue to support prices where they are at present."

-30-

For more information, contact;

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

Monday, December 20, 2010

Numbers are up slightly

This weeks numbers are up slightly amidst signs that the US dollar has gained a little strength and that there's some economic troubles on this side of the border that has precipitated the slide in our own currency.

Oil has stayed mostly steady, but commodity prices are in flux with some changes worthy of note.

While distillate prices have stayed relatively steady over the past week, for the last day I have on record showed gasoline numbers to be out of whack with what distillates are showing. An oddity I sometimes wonder about.

Here's an example:

While heating oils sold at $2.46.24 on Friday, they showed little change in Monday trading, remaining relatively steady at $2.47.32, a change of 1.08 cents a litre.

Gasoline was the difference that I noted though. Friday's trading session showed gasoline at $2.33.53 a US gallon, while Monday's market close showed an increase to $2.42.03 cents a US gallon, or an increase from Friday's 62.46 cents a litre Canadian to Monday's 65.08 cents a litre, an increase of 2.62 cents a litre from the Friday close.

The reason?

I haven't seen an explanation yet, but I'm dying to see the reasons why it's up. If it does stay up this way for the next week, we're bound to be in a cycle of another increase to gasoline prices. We are now, as it is, just not to the same degree that we would be if one were to be making plans for the return trip home from Christmas vacation.

Here's what I have for this regulation period so far:

  • Heating and stove oils are up by 1.03 cents a litre.
  • Diesel is up by 9/10ths, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 1.1 cents per litre.

I'll be back tomorrow night with the final numbers.

Regards,

George

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Consumers to get a small break at the pumps
Distillates show little movement

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, December 14, 2010- Consumers of gasoline will get a small break at the pumps this week when the Public Utilities Board adjusts prices this Thursday. That's according to George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

"While oil has remained relatively steady in terms of price there is some question as to where inventories stand as to their correlation to prices. I believe that this retreat in prices is caused by investors belief that consumers have been left with little maneuvering room and high energy prices have started to take a bite out of consumers wallets. That seems to be supported by data from the US American Petroleum Institute (API) report which shows growth in gasoline inventory for the second week in a row. The real proof may come tomorrow when the US government's Energy Information Administration releases its inventory data. If that correlates with the API data, we may see some more retreat in pricing, as well as for oil prices", said Murphy.

What to expect with prices
"I expect no change in heating and stove oils, while diesel shows just a four tenths of a cent drop per litre. Gasoline is showing 2.2 cents a litre down for this week. While there is a build in gasoline inventory, heating and stove oils have been under considerable pressure from increased European demand as a result of cold weather there.

Consumers should question tire burning
"Consumers in this province have been charged three dollars per tire for the past few years to help institute a tire recycling program. I don't think they expect tires to be burned as fuel. It's a one time end use for something that consumers didn't want to see. Consumers expect value for their money, so tire burning doesn't endear anyone in the belief in tire recycling. We expect more bang for our three dollars a tire that we've paid. Why doesn't the government commission a study into other alternative uses for tires besides burning them? That hardly represents a recycling effort in my books. They could have used them as a aggregate in road asphalt as that material has become relatively costly in recent years. It just seems that burning tires doesn't seem to be healthy for the environment , while we recycle roads in recent years. Consumers need to know that they're getting "money for worth" when it comes to paying tire recycling fees."

-30-

For more information, contact;

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

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gasoline numbers down
Distillates steady
Yes, I said gasoline numbers are down so far, for this weeks changes anyway.
Here's what I have so far, in a not too contentious business week:
  • Heating and stove oils are down by a mere 3/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel is down by 3/10ths of a cent, and...
  • Gasoline is down by 2.1 cents a litre.

Yes...

Cause for celebration maybe?

Not quite yet, but it is a welcome break from last weeks sudden rise and puts us in line with what has been happening in other markets with very modest price drops.

What I'm looking for this week

Of course, tomorrow will find me posting the full seven day synopsis on what to expect as regards to price changes for the week, but I'm also looking for signs of a drop in demand of products like gasoline just to see if price has anything correlating to last weeks build in gasoline inventory.

That news comes on Tuesday with an industry report on inventories followed on Wednesday by the US Energy Information Administrations take on inventory findings.

If so, then expect some further moderation in both distillates as well as gasoline, and that should be mirrored by a slight slide in oil prices. If demand has been affected by high prices it may be very likely an indicator that we're all dealing with very weak recovery in the economy, something for which there's much contentious debate.

For me, it's going to be another signal to Big Oil that consumers aren't going to tolerate high prices and it'll be another sign that there's very little room for maneuver by the consumer when it comes to disposable income.

You know where to find me...

Catch you all tomorrow night with the final breakdown on what to expect for Thursday.

Regards for now!

George

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Numbers up for all fuels
Increased oil prices mean consumers will pay

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, December 07, 2010- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will be paying more for all fuels this coming Thursday. That's according to the information that George Murphy has gathered for the last week, and the numbers are substantial.

"We're looking at increases in pricing across the board", said Murphy. "Prices are reflective of what has been happening in the markets over the past week, and the consumer is going to pay as a result of an increase in refined commodities."

"I expect heating and stove oils to increase by 2.69 cents per litre, diesel shows an increase of 2.3 cents and gasoline is up by four cents on a litre for Thursday. There was some retreat in oil prices that was just not enough to bring those numbers the other way, but what I did see in the numbers for the past two days is reflective of what we might expect in the coming weeks: the possibility that European Union countries like Ireland and Portugal may not be able to meet their financial targets. That could lead to faltering economic recovery, ending in a retreat in oil prices altogether. We're keeping an eye to those countries to see if they meet their previous commitments to pay down their debt. Any austerity programming that these countries do bring in could potentially affect consumer spending and affect exports from countries like the United States and Canada, and that could mean economic troubles down the road. Either way, the markets and consumers are both reaching a breaking point: markets for how much they can earn the investor and consumers for how much they can bear high energy prices before they curtail spending."

-30-

For more information, contact;

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

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Price spike warning!

Just to let everyone know that I have been tracking a large increase in prices for this Thursday coming.

Here's what I have so far this week, five days reporting:
  • Heating and stove oils show an added 2.69 cents per litre.
  • Diesel shows an added 2.3 cents, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 4.6 cents a litre.

There'll be more on this as the data comes in, but everyone should pass the word that there will be increases in most pricing this week.

Regards,

George

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gasoline down but distillates are up
Numbers show little change in prices

Media release

Hi to all...

I'll keep it simple for this week as I am still tied up in my election campaign.

Oil remains steady for now
Considerable worries about European debt and North American economic recovery are overshadowing oil prices this past week as oil prices and their related refined commodities held mostly steady as well.

Debt troubles in Ireland and other Euro nations are putting the emphasis back on US dollars while, at the same time causing an uneasy investment in oil. The trouble here is that if there is turmoil in economic recovery, then the impact on oil demand could be significant and we could see oil prices start to retreat.

It's going to be worth keeping an eye to, if indeed world market recovery comes into question.

Continuing oil work

A lot of people are asking me if I'll keep up my oil work in the event I do get elected. The short answer is "yes" and I will continue to keep the media and consumers informed of any pricing changes as part of the daily routine.

What's in the numbers

Here's what I have for the past week with all the data now in. These changes should come into effect this Thursday morning:

  • Heating and stove oils show an added 1.29 cents per litre.
  • Diesel shows an added 1.9 cents per litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows a decrease of 1.1 cents per litre.


That's it for this week!

Regards,

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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some numbers for the week so far...

Here's what I have so far this week.

You'll have to excuse the fact that I haven't included some of the latest oil news here as I have been busy on the campaign trail and I haven't had the time to keep track.

Not to worry, as I'll continue my oil work irregardless of how things turn out. I've had a few emails on that question already!

  • Heating and stove oils show an added 1.26 cents upwards.
  • Diesel shows an increase of 1.9 cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows a drop of 1.1 cents a litre.

Six days out of seven, keep in mind! I'll be back with the final numbers tomorrow night.

George

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Steady for gasoline while distillates show "down"

Hi to all...


Just in from the campaign trail where we've been quite busy.

Here's a brief synopsis of the numbers. Not much change from last nights figures, although these do confirm them for the seven day period.

  • Heating and stove oils are forecast to drop by 2.07 cents per litre.
  • Diesel to drop by 2.1 cents per litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 2/10ths of a cent, but there may be no change at all if you take into account my three tenths of a cent margin for error.

That's it from me!

Catch me on the campaign trail somewhere!

Regards,

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Distillates are dropping. Gasoline relatively steady

Hi to all...

Cold on the campaign trail and it probably means that thermostats are also getting cranked, now that winter seems to be settling in. The heat bill has become an issue for some out there.

There is a little relief on the way, with oil prices moderating somewhat. The madness over last weeks market turmoil caused by the US and China playing with their positions on their respective currencies has abated somewhat, but still will flare up again when oil abates I would bet!
Still, a draw on US inventories of refined product would normally have played heavily in the markets again last week, but it never, which is curious. I'm betting that there's a lot of worry over investors damaging any economic recovery with an increase in energy prices. I'm betting that someone out there is feeling the pinch before Christmas, and they don't like what they see in the consumer's eyes. In other words, I think that investors are seeing the markets "tighten up" and there's not much "elasticity" in people's pockets.

Here's what I have as regards to this weeks pricing changes, with one more day of data to attain:
  • Heating and stove oils to drop by 2.03 cents per litre.
  • Diesel to drop by 2.1 cents, and...
  • Gasoline to increase by 6/10ths of a cent.

I'll be back with a full run-down on the numbers after ten tomorrow night, I hope!

Regards,

George

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sorry I published late!I was out on the campaign trail. Hope you get most of the details on the news!
-George-

Oil starts downwards
Commodities unaffected by drop in oil prices yet

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, November 16, 2010- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will be paying a little more for gasoline for at least this next week, in spite of a drop in oil prices. That comes from George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

"Even though I've seen the slide in oil prices this week, coming down over five dollars since November 12th, I haven't seen the same thing happen with refined commodities", said Murphy. "What I have seen is a drop in the value of the Canadian dollar against the US greenback and that wasn't a good thing when the dollar difference is thrown in the mix. A drop of a penny against the US dollar equates to only a 4/10ths of a cent drop in fuel prices to Canadian consumers, so this weeks drop in oil prices mounted to nothing for Canadian consumers."

The numbers
"I expect very little change in distillate prices this week. Heating and stove oils show a modest 56/100ths of a cent increase, while diesel prices are showing just an added three tenths of a cent. Gasoline is expected to increase by 3.2 cents a litre on Thursday morning, so consumers may be best advised to top up the tank if they wish to tuck away a few dollars.

"If oil continues to drop, consumers can expect that prices for all refined commodities may follow provided that inventories remain up along with an elevated Canadian dollar. If the distrust of the markets right now is any consolation to consumers, this increase in gasoline prices may be short-lived.

Markets are anxious
It seems that there's some thought going into what evidence there is for any economic recovery out there While there has been a stall in US economic recovery within the US northeast areas, there is also considerable worry over Ireland's sovereign debt and the possibility of China raising interest rates. We're really not out of the woods on worldwide economic recovery just yet, and those feelings played with oil pricing this week. Investors still do not have the trust and confidence in the markets to take too much risk.

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member

Monday, November 15, 2010

Numbers so far

This week sees oil pricing to be contingent and dependent on world affairs, more so this past week than ever it was.

Oil prices this week are starting to walk a fine line between another climb and a retreat in prices based on what's been newsworthy to report this last week. The contentious debate amongst the G-20 leadership, in particularly the currency war between China and the United States, has oil all over the place on the consumer pricing map. With the US entering the fray over the value of a fixed Chinese currency, the US Treasury Department, in it's wisdom, decided that they had beter start the copy machines a'printing in an attempt to devalue its own currency. That led investors to drop the US dollar and invest their money in commodities like gold and oil, along with other currencies like the Canadian dollar.

Not so with oil's related, refined commodities which, while showing volatility, still hasn't reflected the very modest retreat in oil prices over the past two business days.

Here's what I have so far this week, six out of seven days to report:
  • Heating and stove oils show an increase of just 72/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel prices show an added half penny, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 3.3 cents a litre at the pumps for Thursday.

Ouch!

Almost back to $1.16 a litre in the St. John's area...

I'll be back sometime later tomorrow night with a final breakdown on the numbers, and the "guesser" for Thursday.

Regards,

George

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Oil trades up for the week
Consumers to see some increases as a result

Media release



Conception Bay South, NL, November 9, 2010- Consumers in the province will see some increases to consumer pricing this Thursday as the rise in oil prices will begin to toll on the pocketbook. That’s from George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“All data indicates a rise in prices, mitigated somewhat by the increase in the Canadian dollar against the US greenback. While the US dollar fell for the second straight week, that spurred investors to take their money from currencies and invest them in commodities, and that’s chiefly why we’ll be seeing prices increase this week”, said Murphy.

What’s in the numbers
“Numbers show heating and stove oils to increase by 2.13 cents a litre, diesel to increase by 2.5 cents and gasoline to increase by 1.1 cents a litre. With oil prices increasing by close on four dollars a barrel this week, it didn’t surprise me any to see prices go up to consumers as well. The question now is: How high can prices go before consumers start to feel the pinch from rising energy prices? How high can oil go before an unsteady economic recovery starts to feel the cost?

NDP platform includes removal of HST
This week saw the federal branch of the New Democratic Party show off a plank in its platform. The party has picked up the call for the removal of HST from heat, which is an important consumer need during the cold Canadian winter. Their platform calls for the removal of the federal governments five per cent cut of the HST from all heat with the remainder to be removed by the provinces.

-30-


For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Monday, November 08, 2010

Up five bucks in a week
There must be tears of joy in the halls of the department of finance this week!

If you have been keeping an eye to the markets this week you would be taking notice of the rapid increase in oil prices, up almost five bucks a barrel. Since last regulation period, oil prices have increased from $82.95 US a barrel to reach today's high of $87.06 US.

Perhaps when you go to fill up, you might be taking more notice of the price as well, in particular for the rising costs for heating and stove oils. Added surcharges surely are to follow again as prices increase to various transportation industries.

Be warned...

Prices are again on the move upwards...

Of interest to consumers out there, with the rising price of oil we should see some reaction to consumers spending habits start to kick in. Consumers will probably become acutely aware that it's just costing a little bit more, and that it's starting to impact what you think you had left in your wallet.

It will be no different this week as, worldwide, consumers begin to notice the bite that high energy will be taking on spending. Expect the impact to be felt in the said economic recovery. If anything thwarts that, it's high energy prices. If we notice that, does industry notice the effects on spending as well?

Here's what I have so far this regulation period with one more day of data to attain. Keep in mind the possible slight inaccuracy in the heating oil number as a result of the change to the winter heating mix change for the next few months when the price changes come out this Thursday:
  • Heating and stove oils are up by 2.13 cents per litre from last week.
  • Diesel shows an added 2.4 cents per litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 1.1 cents per lire.

I'll be back again tomorrow night with the final numbers for the week. In the meantime, drop me an email if you think you're starting to feel the effects of high energy prices agin. I'd love to hear from you!

Regards,

George

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Not much change in the numbers

Hi to all...

Not much activity in the markets this week and that means not much change in the prices of fuel products for this regulation period.

Here's what I have with all seven days data at hand:



  • Heating and stove oils show a drop of 12/100ths of a cent.

  • Diesel shows a drop of 3/10ths of a cent, and...

  • Gasoline shows an added 3/10ths of a cent.

Two things here:

First off, my margin for error is 3/10ths of a cent on a litre, so there may not be any change to prices this week, the numbers are that close.

Secondly...


We are entering the winter heating season where the heating oil number can only be used as an indicator as to what direction heating oil will go. The reason for that is that heating oil (#2 fuel oil) for winter heating purposes is composed of 25% of 32 fuel oil and 75% jet fuel (kerosene). I can't find a free source out of the many out there.

The number should still be solid for stove oil figures.

That's it for this week!

Regards,

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



P.S: In spite of a possible by-election run, I will still be doing as I always have with the update. It'll be just like nothing changed.

Monday, November 01, 2010

No real changes to pricing this week so far

Numbers here don't show any need to run out to the pumps anytime soon.

Here's what I have so far for this regulation period. Six out of seven days reported:
  • Heating and stove oils are down by 18/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel is down by a half penny, and...
  • Gasoline shows an increase of about two tenths of a cent.

Like I said, no rush.

In the meantime, just a short note here. we're getting close to the winter heating season where the winter heating blend of 75% jet and 25% number 2 fuels will be out. That means that my heating oil numbers may be out slightly more than before as I cannot get a source out there for predicting the change. It cost a rough $400.00 US per month for a subscription service in order to get that i cannot spare for a while yet.

Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause to some of you out there. The numbers go back to normal again after the end of the winter heating season.

I'll be back tomorrow night with a wrap on the week!

Regards,

George

The stove oil number will remain unchanged however...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hi to all...
Sorry I'm posting late this week. Tell the truth. You all thought I bailed, right?

George

Numbers show gasoline to drop Thursday

Media release


Conception Bay South, NL, October 26, 2010- Consumers get to see another drop in gasoline prices this coming Thursday. That’s according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Numbers show moderate increases to distillate prices but gasoline shows a drop. I expect heating and stove oils to increase by 64/100ths of a cent per litre, while diesel shows an added 9/10ths up. That’s been the trend with distillate as we get closer to the winter heating and Christmas shopping seasons.

“Gasoline is a little better as that fuel shows a drop of 1.3 cents a litre on the way, the second drop in two weeks. While all the numbers are not substantial, they do reflect the fluctuations in crude oil pricing the past week or so. I still expect to see oil pricing to hold close to where it is now, and for fuel prices to remain so as well, at least for the interim.

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Slight drops in prices for Thursday

Hi to all...
Numbers are all in for the week.
For the first six days of the period, the numbers showed no big changes coming.But that was before todays market trading that showed a drop in crude prices of close on $3.50 a barrel.
Oil closed today at just under $80.00 US after concerns were raised with China raising its interest rates and an increase in the US dollar as investors pulled out of commodities and poured money into the US dollar instead.
The Canadian dollar also lost ground against the US greenback as a result of todays market moves, losing almost a cent and a half to settle at $1.03 for a US dollar.
The Canadian dollar started out this regulation period at par with its US counterpart.
The American Petroleum Institute (API), a US oil industry representative group, also are reporting a growth in US crude oil inventory increase in their report released today.

As a result of these factors, consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will experience a slight drop in consumer prices for petroleum products I measure.

Here's what I have:
  • Heating and stove oils will drop by 8/10ths of a cent a litre.
  • Diesel will drop by 1.2 cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows a drop of 1.2 cents a litre as well.

That's it for this week!

Regards,

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

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Commodities still turbulent

Media release



Conception Bay South, NL, October 12, 2010- Consumers will still see some of the after effects of last weeks storm in the markets when the Petroleum Pricing Office and the Public Utilities Board move to adjust prices this Thursday. That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Numbers are showing down for distillates. Heating and stove oils show a slight drop of just 35/100ths of a cent, while diesel shows a drop of 1.2 cents a litre on the way. Gasoline shows an increase of two cents a litre coming for Thursday.” Murphy said.

“There’s still a lot of turbulence on the markets out there. One minute I’m seeing oil and refined commodity prices rise and then sink again. I think the markets are still jittery over any economic recovery, and the markets are displaying what I’ve said already about any market recovery; that a mere couple of weeks are too premature to call the shot on economic recovery just yet. As an example, there’s a record being set for property foreclosures in the US being reported on today and that was enough to stymie any increase in oil prices and signal a slight retreat.

“To add to that, there’s a prediction of an inventory build in the works when the US Energy Information Administration releases its weekly data this coming Wednesday and that is also showing in today’s retreat. Here’s to hoping that the jitters that are out there result in investors looking at the big picture instead of taking chances in running up prices that don’t reflect market realities.”

-30-

For more information, contact;

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

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Numbers up considerably
Consumers to get a hit on Thursday

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, October 5, 2010- The sudden rise in crude oil prices will not be going unnoticed by consumers this coming Thursday when the Public Utilities Board makes the next pricing adjustment. Word of the impending increase in prices comes from George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Oil prices have taken a sharp turn upwards this past two weeks buoyed by positive economic news out of the United States and other areas, particularly China. Consumers have already seen crude oil increase by ten dollars a barrel since September 22 and that has also resulted in an increase to the price of refined commodities.
My numbers show that heating and stove oils will increase by 3.62 cents a litre, diesel shows an upwards movement of 4.5 cents, while gasoline is also showing a marked increase upwards by 4.5 cents a litre,” said Murphy.

“I’m not surprised to see another hit like this with oil prices increasing like they have along with the mood of the investor. I’m more surprised that we didn’t see a more substantive increase in prices during the last adjustment period as other markets saw, particularly as crude oil increased by five bucks a barrel the previous week. Numbers moved marginally, but not enough to warrant a large change to prices. What should worry everyone is the speed at which the increase has occurred. Questions have to be asked about the degree of investment in oil that is occurring as weighed against the economic recovery that is actually happening out there. It seems that investors are taking an awful gamble with such a short timeframe for positive economic news that is coming in. Just two weeks ago, there was some question as to how much economic recovery was taking place, and now we see this. It could be disaster for someone and a possible oil price collapse if the word on economic recovery out there was premature.”

-30-

For more information, contact;

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

Friday, October 01, 2010

Oil, and the perfect storm!

Watch out for a substantial increase in fuel prices next week!

Numbers so far this week are pointing greater than three cents a litre up for all fuels I measure. Heating, stove oils, diesel and gasoline are all pointing higher amidst what I'm calling a perfect storm caused by investor speculation. Numbers are averaging a four cent a litre increase for most fuels right now.

Improving economic indicators like China growth in manufacturing, production quota compliance amongst OPEC members and a faltering US dollar against the Euro, are all painting a picture of an increase in prices that consumers are just not going to like next Thursday.

There is a danger on the part of speculators here however...

How far can prices for refined product, and oil for that matter, before consumers revolt and put a halt to any economic recovery? How far can prices go before higher prices begin to reverse an already tenuous economic recovery because it has removed important disposable income from the economy and the consumers hands?

My guess is that it's not going to be long before we see another retreat in oil because of the folly in the markets right now. Gold hasn't hit a record high for no reason at all...

Regards, and pass the word!

George

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Updated September 28, 2010

A note on Hurricane Igor



Update!

Here's all the data. Final numbers!

Heating and stove oils show a 14/100ths of a cent increase.
Diesel shows "No Change", and...
Gasoline shows a drop of 4/10ths of a cent at the pumps.
Have a good week!



Hi to all...

There's been some question as to what fuel prices are going to do this week here in the province as regards to the side effects of Hurricane Igor.

As far as I know, there will be no effects immediately as the numbers for any substantive increases are simply not there as regards to what has happened on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

Here's what I have so far, six days out of seven reporting:

* Heating and stove oils show a very modest drop of 11/100ths of a cent.
* Diesel shows a drop of just a tenth of a cent, and...
* Gasoline shows a drop of 5/10ths, a half cent down.

Another reminder to consumers in the affected areas of Igor comes this morning from the Emergency Services Act. Up to 2007, the federal government stated that gouging was not allowed under declared states of emergency and that was contained under the old Emergency Preparedness Act, repealed in 2007.

Price gouging is now covered under the provinces 'Emergency Services Act, particularly under section 23(1), which states:


Offence and penalty re: pricing

23. (1) During a declared emergency, a person in the province shall not charge higher prices for food, clothing, fuel, equipment, including medical equipment, medical or essential supplies, or for the use of property, services, resources or equipment than the fair market value of the same thing immediately before the declaration of the emergency.

(2) A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to $5,000.

(3) This section shall not apply to cost increases which, in the opinion of the minister, are reasonable and have been necessitated by the declaration of the emergency.

I would make the suggestion that, if someone were to be caught doing this sort of thing in any of the storm affected areas, that they be prosecuted to the full extent that the law allows.

Just thought I'd pass this one along as the rumours are out there of impending high prices and possible gouging out there! I'll be back with a final breakdown on what to expect for Thursday, sometime later tonight!

Regards,



George Murphy

Group researcher/ Member

Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No real changes to pricing this week

Just got the power back!

Thanks to Igor, this one comes to you later than usual.


You would have had it last night, but a power failure in the CBS area "necessitated" that it be sent today when power was restored.

I'll keep it short and sweet this week, as the numbers aren't showing anything substantial to be happening with prices this week anyways. Here's what I have:

  • Heating and stove oils show an increase of just a mere 3/100ths of a cent. Could be no changes here at all.
  • Diesel shows a small 2/10ths of a cent drop coming, and...
  • Gasoline shows a drop of 8/10ths of a cent on the way for Thursday.

That's it from me this week!


Hopefully, we'll be back with a full update next week!

Regards,

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

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Slight changes to the numbers
Consumers will see small increases to prices this week

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, September 14, 2010- “While other centers have seen substantial increases to consumer prices this past week, there’s really nothing to get alarmed about in my numbers”. That’s from George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Consumers here in Newfoundland and Labrador will see some moderate price changes this week as a result of the upward increase in refined commodity prices, but there’s certainly nothing that other regions have been dealing with. The increase in value of the Canadian dollar against the US greenback has absorbed a lot of the shock of any large increase this week. I expect heating, stove oils and diesel fuel to increase by a half cent a litre, while gasoline shows a modest 1.1 cent a litre increase.

“While the US dollar lost value, investors turned their eyes toward oil and its refined commodities as a hedge against inflation, and increased their value. The Canadian dollar also gained value, especially as the Bank of Canada increased interest rates, also spurring investment in the Canuck Buck. It is also tied close to commodities like oil and gold, so the Canadian dollar was also pulled upwards as oil and gold increased in value this week.

Fast facts:

• Oil also increased this week when an Enbridge pipeline in the US mid-west ruptured, shutting out almost 670,000 barrels per day from Canada.

• OPEC secretary general Abdalla Al-Bahdri says its member nations are comfortable with oil prices between $70 and $80 US a barrel. If oil stays there in the coming weeks, they won’t intervene with production cuts. OPEC currently produces close on 26.8 million if you add in over-production on their self-imposed quota of 24.85 million barrels of crude per day.

• Canada exported just over 2.2 million barrels of crude oil per day to the United States, according to Energy Information Administration information.

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

No big changes this week

Hi to all...

Numbers are in for the week and they're not showing any significant changes.
Here's what I have:
  • Heating and stove oils are up by a paltry 5/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel shows an added 1/10th of a cent, and...
  • Gasoline shows up by 4/10ths of a cent a litre.


There's not a lot happening out there this past week.

Or, so they say.

What I do hear is that there's a lot of trepidation over what's NOT being talked about in the markets...

Right now, we're looking at inventory levels that rival the Reagan era, when there was record inventory of distillate as well. If you go back to that era, it was a time when a lot more people were using heating and stove oils, so this is fast becoming a worry to investors in refined product. When it comes to all types of heating sources that are in use, numbers a couple of years ago showed that only nine per cent of homes in the US northeast (PADD 2) used heating or stove oils as their primary source of heat. That is compared to a 29 per cent market share in the mid sixties era.

Since then, heating and stove oils, since 2001 particularly, have increased in price by a rough 275 per cent in some years, and that factor alone has forced people to move away from heating and stove oils as a primary source of heating.

In the US northeast, heating and stove oils have fallen way behind the use of natural gas and electricity as heat sources.

The end is coming for heating oils, but being part of the distillate group of fuels still helps the support of its price. Because it falls within the group, it also blends well as diesel fuel, and that makes it one of the world's predominant fuels of choice today.

That's it for now!

Regards,

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Prices not sustainable for long
Consumers to see slight increases this week

Media release


Conception Bay South, NL, August 31, 2010- In spite of today’s retreat in oil prices today, consumers can expect to see a slight increase in most fuel prices when the PUB adjusts prices this coming Thursday. That’s from George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“For the best part of this regulation period, oil prices climbed slightly above $75 US per barrel. With the exception of today, refined commodities also climbed, and that means some slight adjustments to prices, at least for this week. Today’s retreat in prices may be the forerunner of what is to come for next week.” Murphy said.

“I expect heating and stove oils to increase by 3.29 cents a litre, diesel to increase by 2.2 cents, and gasoline is showing an added 1.5 cents a litre at the pumps. I don’t think this will last long as the markets are again getting the jitters with any hopes of a strong economic recovery. I’m expecting a retreat in prices for next week, especially as an industry report is showing ‘glowing’ numbers in inventories of crude oil and gasoline.

“Inventories are at a high for the summer months and demand is mellow as compared to other years. The data is starting to form an even bleaker picture for any recovery in oil prices, especially considering the fact that inventories are at their highest since the Reagan administration and distillate inventories also sit at record levels. That could mean some moderation in prices to consumers if investors recognize the signs of trouble out there.

“The traditional end to the driving season is fast approaching and consumers may see some moderation in the weeks to come, and if investors see the signs, oil investors may be forced to yield. Maybe then, with cheaper energy prices, we might be expected to be witness to economic recovery. With oil prices high, we can’t expect recovery to happen readily.”

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Drop in prices for consumers on the way

After a hectic week of oil trading, consumers will see a small drop in prices that would have been considerably more had there been some stability in the Canadian dollar.

There wasn't.

The Canadian dollar lost almost three cents against its US counterpart this week cushioning the drop to fuel prices here in Canada somewhat. If the dollar had to remain stable, we would have been looking at close to a three cent a litre drop across the board.

Here's what I have for this Thursday:
  • Heating and stove oils will drop by 12/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel shows "down" by 4/10ths of a cent, and...
  • Gasoline shows a drop of 8/10ths of a cent per litre.


With the Canadian dollar tied so closely to the price of oil, it dropped along with oil prices over the last couple of weeks. The Canadian dollar is known as a resource, or petro-dollar because of the relation between it and oil prices.

Hurricane Danielle
I'm not anticipating any effects to fuel pricing because of Hurricane Danielle. Right now it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but is expected to pick up steam again and reaching hurricane status once again according to the National Hurricane Center. Its five day track shows it to be well off the coast of North carolina heading in a generally northerly direction on Sunday coming, well away from important oil infrastructure. There should be some concern to Atlantic Canada however as its track points it directly toward the US Eastern Seaboard and Eastern Canada.

That's it for now!

Regards,

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

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Numbers confirm it
Substantial drop in prices coming to consumers

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, August 17, 2010- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will see a substantial drop in prices at the pumps when the Public Utilities Board adjusts prices this coming Thursday. That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Markets in the United States are again reflecting the actuality of the economic situation, all against word of possible economic recovery. Most indicators are showing that there is a possibility that the United States is about to enter a second recession, or ‘double dip’. Consumer confidence is a record low and housing sales have plummeted indicating that consumers there just don’t believe that they’re out of the woods yet. As a result of this, oil prices took a pounding last week and that’s reflected in refined commodities as well.” Murphy said.

“All the data is in and it’s good news for the consumer as we head toward the end of summer. I expect heating and stove oils to drop by 2.95 cents, diesel to drop by 3.2 cents a litre. The good news on gasoline shows a drop of 3.7 cents a litre on the way for Thursday morning.

‘The real good news just hasn’t hit us yet. Here we are close to the end of summer and still no major hurricanes have developed that could have the potential to threaten Gulf of Mexico production. We’re fast approaching the five year anniversary of the Katrina and Rita hurricanes of 2005, which was an even more active hurricane year than this one so far. It seems the predictions of major storms this year is off a little, and will continue to be, with luck! If we can get past the middle of September without a major hurricane threat in the Gulf, we should be in line to see a further retreat in oil prices.”

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
Just a word to the wise...

Numbers here are showing substantive drops to all fuel prices that I check, and with one day of business left to recover, it certainly looks like the numbers will hold.

I'll be back later tonight with the official release on the numbers, but here's what I have right now:
  • Heating and stove oils are down by 2.96 cents a litre.
  • Diesel is down by 3.2 cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline is down by 3.5 cents a litre.

I imagine that, after today's business day, these numbers should show at least another two tenths down on top of these numbers. Either way, it's time to hold back a little.

Regards, for now!

George

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Distillates up, gasoline is down for this Thursday


Hi to all...

Figured that I would keep this simple again!

Not too much change in the numbers although distillate prices are elevated over the past week, as predicted they would be, and they will be going up.

Gasoline, according to my numbers, will be dropping.

Here's what I have for this coming Thursday with all the data now in;

  • Heating and stove oils show an added 1.27 cents a litre.
  • Diesel shows an added 1.6 cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows a drop of 1.9 cents a litre.


Market highlights

  • Oil continues to bounce around the $80 US a barrel mark, all in spite of the latest news on economic recovery. The US and China are both having their problems, numbers being reflected in China regarding inflation and numbers in the US reflecting dropping productivity and lower housing starts.
  • The Canadian dollar lost close to two cents against the US greenback. Because the Canadian dollar is so tied to resources like the value of oil, it lost ground when oil retreated by $2 US over the past week.
  • Refineries operated at a 91.2 per cent capacity last week. There's lots of product out there and it is being bought by consumers, that fact being reflected in the demand figures. gasoline demand is up better than two per cent, while distillates are showing increased demand as well.
  • With lots of crude oil on hand, refiners bought little and that impacted inventories of oil, dropping by some 2.8 million barrels. Gasoline and distillate inventories increased however, making this the third week in a row for inventory gains amongst refined products. Unless something extraordinary happens in the markets right now, we're already past peak pricing for summer gasoline.
  • The average price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil was $75.84 a barrel, the third month in a row that crude oil was below the $83 US a barrel estimate needed by the provincial government to show budget numbers as being on track. Crude oil now needs to average better than $87.50 a barrel for the rest of the year for the province not to have to worry over another budget deficit.


That's it for this week!

Regards,

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

Monday, August 09, 2010

Six day figures show numbers are up for distillates

No surprise for me...

Last week I noticed a trend being set, and it wasn't a good one. With the focus of the markets being mainly set on possible economic recovery, the numbers for oil have also been up.

Refined commodities up right along with it as well.

As I predicted last week, numbers are up for both heating and stove oils, and distillates like diesel fuel as well, albeit, not quite up to the two cent a litre figure I talked about, but still with one more day to go...

Gasoline shows "down" so far, and is likely to stay down when I have the final numbers tomorrow night.

Here's what I have so far, like I say, one more day to go:
  • Heating and stove oils are up by 1.36 cents a litre.
  • Diesel shows an added 1.7 cents a litre up, and...
  • Gasoline shows down by 1.8 cents a litre.

The disturbing thing I'm seeing in all this is the rebound of heating stove oils and diesel numbers, all distillate fuels. It's bad enough that we see high heating prices during the winter, but now we're witnessing a run-up in heating oil prices during the summer when, traditionally, they have been down.

Diesel fuel is showing the same characteristic moves up, but most likely caused by a run-up in diesel use because of a proposed economic recovery that is doubtful.

I just keep wondering to myself: How long will recovery occur when we're talking rising energy prices? Cheaper energy means a more robust recovery, does it not?

I'll have the final numbers tomorrow night, but from the look of things, it's distillates "up" and gasoline "down" for Thursday morning.

Regards,

George

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Consumers will see a small hit this week
More Increases could be on the way

Media release


Conception Bay South, NL, August 4, 2010- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will see some slight increases to consumer prices this week when the Public Utilities Board adjusts prices. That’s from George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Oil prices have increased by close to six dollars US a barrel this week, so there is no doubt that we’ll get tagged at the pumps. The meteoric rise in oil prices, particularly over the last two business days, has also meant an increase to refined commodities. We are, however, being insulated somewhat by the rise in the Canadian dollar against the US greenback. That has kept the increase in refined product low compared to what is normally seen with any major increase in oil prices,” Murphy said.

“I expect heating and stove oil prices to increase by 92/100ths of a cent. Diesel will increase by 1.3 cents a litre, and gasoline to increase by 1.8 cents a litre, putting gasoline prices in the summer range of $1.10 and $1.14 a litre.

“The numbers are small but the last two business days have brought the averages up for distillates, meaning that we haven’t seen the last of possible increases to come there. It’s my belief that there’s a possible two cent a litre increase for next week, provided oil and distillate prices remain elevated for the next seven days, and barring any unforeseen changes to market conditions. Already, that’s beginning to form a picture of heating and stove oil prices being elevated at the start of the winter heating season. I’ll have a better handle on what to expect this winter later this month. It could also mean possible troubles with diesel fuel prices. With Newfoundland and Labrador heavily dependent upon the use of diesel to power the transportation sector, it could mean higher prices for consumer products because on increased transportation costs. Higher oil prices may be good for the provincial treasury, but not necessarily for the consumer.”

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher

Monday, August 02, 2010

Oil tops $81 US, but for how long?

While oil may have broken the $80 US per barrel mark, the questionable recovery of the world economy has to be one factor that can pull oil back under.

Some consider the spark that started the last recession to exactly that; oil at a price that was no longer affordable by the consumer and industry. Are we now at a point where consumers will start to ask themselves the question again: Can I afford high energy?

Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, consumers are already dealing with gasoline and diesel prices that range better than $1.08 a litre. For consumers and independent truckers, businesses that depend on the transportation sector, again they are all going to be forced to take measures to conserve energy and try to cut losses. It is again that the Canadian dollar will show it's strength against the US dollar as the dollar reaches parity. It may be the only measure out there to absorb the shock of rising oil prices.

With five days of numbers at hand, there is enough to show increased prices again for all fuels I measure, and the prospects of high oil will also have to be noted to users of fuel out there. Just how high will oil prices go before we see another bust?

I'll be back tomorrow night with the final breakdown in the expected price increases for this week!

Regards,

George

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Not much change in the numbers

Hi to all...

Another quiet week in the markets means not much movement to fuel prices again this week.

Here's what I have coming for this Thursday morning when the PUB moves to adjust prices:

  • Heating and stove oils should drop by 37/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel to drop by 4/10ths, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 8/10ths of a cent.

Some market highlights:

  • Some lack of faith amongst consumers today resulted in a retreat by oil prices from a high this week of $79.30 US a barrel. Oil started out this pricing period at $76.28 US a barrel. What is known in the US as the Sentiment Index declined to a five month low on the US job outlook and that started today's oil sell-off. The expectation are that things are not likely to turn around for at least the next six months in the US as consumers worry over paying down debt.
  • July 23rd broke in Europe with the report of several European banks failing their means test. The test was designed to test the ability of main European banks to raise funds in the event of an impending credit crunch. The European Union ended up having to come up with another 4.5 billion Euro to cover those same banks adding some questions about European economic recovery.
  • Inventories of crude oil and its related refined commodities also showed gains in inventory, gasoline inventory increasing by 1.1 million barrels last week. While not a huge increase, it is possibly signaling weakening demand as consumers turn their eyes to the weak US economic recovery. Demand for gasoline remained at a stagnant two per cent over last years numbers.


That's it for this week!

Regards,

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

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Consortium to build one billion deep water containment system


Word on the Bloomberg news site has it that Exxon, Chevron, Shell and Conoco-Phillips are investing $250 billion dollars each to build a deep water containment system that will be able to operate and contain underwater leaks as deep as 3050 meters (10,000 feet) in the Gulf of Mexico. Story here.
Is this collusion?...

According to the story, the system will be able to handle spills of close to 100,000 barrels per day and become part of any offshore deep water drilling program. It will involve piping the oil and gas to topside vessels to contain the spilled oil or gas. The system is said to be possibly adaptable to other areas where deep sea drilling is ongoing.

The story does not say if vessels designed for this use will be available at a few days notice or if they will be already on stand by at the drill site should an accident occur. It still makes one wonder what are the repercussions of not having such a system in place here in Canadian coastal waters, in particularly the Orphan Basin where the waters are 2800 meters, close to 9500 feet deep.

Do you think that Big Oil may be feeling the heat from politicians to erase any doubt about deep sea drilling? After the Gulf of Mexico disaster, do you think that voters might be having some influence over what government is deciding?

My personal opinion?...

This is an attempt to deflect any government from instituting any freeze on deep-sea drilling until safer drilling methods, and the cause for the Gulf disaster, have come forth. The United States and the European Union are already taking steps for a hiatus to deep sea drilling.

Of note here: It's awfully funny that they can collude to share a deep sea response like this but they can't share their clean-up strategy on the east coast of Canada, off Newfoundland and Labrador in the interests of company secrecy...

I'll be in touch!

Regards,

George
Numbers are all up by less than a cent

Nothing happening in the field of oil this past week. it's almost like the news has stagnated the markets somewhat.

From what I hear out there, there's still a bone of contention on whether there's a slowdown in the world economy again, and that may be part of the problem why any increase in oil prices has also stalled; until there is concrete news on unresolved financial issues worldwide. July 23rd is probably the date that everyone, investors included, is waiting on. It seems that countries like Spain, Greece and Italy will face the biggest test in handling their own debt and any resolution to their own financial crisis, the results of part of that test becoming known on that date.

Portugal, part of the European union's financial bailout just two months ago, faces an even deeper means test, all while Moody's has downgraded their credit rating again just last week.

In the meantime, here's what I have for this weeks price changes for Thursday coming:
  • Heating and stove oils will increase by 79/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel shows an increase of 8/10ths, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 5/10ths, just a half cent.

It's been really busy around here the past couple of weeks, and it's bound to get busier with all the things going on. Some of you know what's on the go. i just want to thank the lot of you for keeping us all in your thoughts and prayers!

I'll be here next week!

Regards,

George

Friday, July 16, 2010

The eighty seven days
For what must have been a small amount of time in the scheme of things, plankton and various forms of pre-historic plant life had come together to form a thick, gelatinous mass under a blanket of sand.
In Mother Nature's own primeval way, that same layer baked, rotted and transformed itself into one of man's most wanted chemicals that was ever discovered. Oil, sulphur, hydrates, carbon, methane, propane, and the list goes on. Either way, what once was life and buried long ago under a part of earth's crust,now serves man in it's death, and caused more death while it poured forth from a wounded earth many feet below the Gulf of Mexico.
What was once probing it, the remains of some of the crew and the drill rig, Deep Horizon, now all resting on the bottom not far away from the rent in Mother Nature's skin, this prize to keep man's existence going. The pursuit of black gold we now know again holds with it a terrible price.
So, what of the cost? So what if we don't know what it has cost the people of the southern US coastal states, victims of possibly cut corners, unknown participants in a bold experiment at getting the black gold into corporate hands. What was the bold rush forward to garner the wealth from Mother Nature's perfect hideaway all about, that safety had to take a back seat all about?
For eighty seven days the taps flowed freely, ruining lives and economies. Families again displaced in a region that has of yet to recover from Hurricane Katrina and Rita not long ago. For eighty seven days part of a vast eco-structure of birds, fish, and other wildlife was devastated, possibly not to recover for years.
Finally, the taps that spilled the black prehistoric goo from deep down were turned off.
Eighty seven days late...
5.2 Million barrels late, if the 60,000 barrel per day rate is right...
Why is it that here in Newfoundland and Labrador we have to let Big Oil sally forth into the abyss of the Orphan Basin off the coast, again probing the depths and piercing the underbelly in the search for crude oil without first waiting to find out what caused the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico? For the pursuit of an added few coins to the province's treasury, are we about to fore go safety again and throw caution to the wind in the reckless search for oil?
In a bold move the other day, the European Union has begun a pursuit of tougher environment rules for deep-water drilling. The new rules will ensure also that any company drilling in deep water can demonstrate that they are capable of handling and fixing in the shortest of time any disaster or incident that may befall them in the event of an accident offshore. Do we have that security in the Orphan Basin?
While we sally forth in letting the Orphan Basin drilling program proceed, Norway has voluntarily placed a moratorium on any exploration of deep sea areas until the full extent and cause of the Gulf of Mexico disaster has become known. The United States has again placed a two year pause in deep sea drilling until they explore the safety standards that have been set. What is the rush that Newfoundland and Labrador go against a world standard that is now being set, albeit because of a disaster that we have yet to comprehend?
For what took millions of years to put together in the form of black gold that lies deep beneath charted waters, should we also take pause and follow a new world deep sea drilling standard?
Do we also want to risk the offshore environment, the fishery, and other far away coastlines because we ignored the warnings from deep down?
Can someone please tell me why we can't stop-just stop- for a few and take stock of the venture we are about to participate in?
I'm sure that if there is a vast amount of oil in the Orphan Basin, that it can wait a few more years and brew a little longer before we do something stupid.
If they want it bad enough, they'll come back if we say that Big Oil is going to have to wait for just a little bit longer. Right now, it just looks like the province and the Canadian government are part of a foolhardy venture we can ill afford to see go wrong.
Tell me, what is the rush?
Regards,
George

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Numbers up slightly
Canadian dollar pares a larger increase to consumers

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, July 13, 2010- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will see a slight upwards adjustment in pricing when the PUB adjusts prices this coming Thursday. That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Oil prices increased close to seven dollars US since the last pricing adjustment and the Canadian dollar also increased in value with its US counterpart right along with it. The result is an increase in all prices I measure, but not a great one, considering that the dollar also gained close to three and a half cents also. That alone saved the consumer an average of close on 1.5 cents on every litre of fuel sold. Instead of looking at one cent a litre up this Thursday for gasoline for example, we could have been looking at a 2.5 cent a litre increase in prices instead,” said Murphy.

For this Thursday then, I expect gasoline to increase by one cent a litre, heating and stove oils to increase by 1.3 cents and diesel to increase by 1.5 cents a litre. The numbers are still hanging just under what was predicted early spring for this summer’s pricing of gasoline of $1.10 a litre. As surprising as it may seem, distillate numbers are still higher for this time of year, probably as a result of diesel’s usage as a main transportation fuel in Europe and elsewhere. It still brings some concern here with the advent of winter usage of distillates. There’s very little time left for the numbers there to come down before investors put winter pricing pressures to bear. Here’s hoping the numbers go down further for the rest of the summer!

-30-

For more information, contact;

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

Monday, July 12, 2010

Not much change in the numbers
There's not likely to be too much change in the numbers this week in spite of the overall increase in oil prices.
Last weeks final day of prices showed a slight retreat in oil prices down to just under $72 US a barrel. Since then, oil has increased to just over $76 US and is now again, on a downwards trend yet again. After today's activity, it's down to $74.95 US a barrel at market close today.
Here's what i have so far. Again, six days of data and if tomorrow's data also is down, there may be no change at all with some prices;
  • Heating and stove oils are up by 1.23 cents
  • Diesel shows an added 1.4 cents, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added one cent a litre increase.

So, what's up with oil? Why hasn't it gone bonkers as in other years?

Good questions, but there seems to be just one answer, and that one can be a loaded answer on my part, but it's best described in one word; trust.

Right now, and this is just my view, the investor is caught between the realities of a world market that has become "undefined". We used to know who could pay their bills and who in the world could spend. We used to know that it was a safe bet that we could take a summer vacation and still have a job when we came back from it. It is my view that this one-time reality has changed and that we simply are dealing in a world where we can't trust the economics of the world anymore, or, at least, not like we used to, and that reality is showing itself in the face of instability with oil prices.

When was the last time you heard of a recession where there were several world countries debt being talked about so openly? This world has become so small that information about debt-load has become a fixture of conversation right up there with who's going to pay the Visa bill next month.

We have countries so mired in debt; Dubai, Italy, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Ireland and the United States just to name a few. While most of these countries have put in austerity measures, we still have to see the results of debt-load being paid down and a level of spending maintained by the same countries in question. We also have to see them maintain those payments back for loans to cover their debt-loads. Problem here is that I believe that investors can't trust their money on a concept that has yet to be carried out by the countries at question.

If that's the case, what we're witness to is a "wait and see" approach that investors have taken with today's world economy and probably why oil prices have stalled their regular, upwards summer climb.

It's probably another reason why there's a good chance we'll see another retreat in oil pricing too, at least until the markets are all something we can trust again. economies need oil, but economies need financial stability too.

I'll be back tomorrow night with the final numbers!

Regards,

George

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Break for consumers coming as oil retreats

Media release


Conception Bay South, NL, July 6, 2010- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will see a substantial drop in prices this week when the PUB adjusts prices this coming Thursday morning. That’s from George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Oil showed a strategic retreat as the bad economic news told of a possible double-dip recession possibly about to hit the world’s largest consumer of oil. That, along with a retreat in the US dollar against the Euro also sent the signal for oil to lose ground, losing almost four dollars in the process. Jobs numbers down and gasoline inventory up, signifying weak demand for the product were also harbingers of possible troubles to come, not only with the US economic recovery but also with oil prices,” Murphy said.

“Heating and stove oils show a 3.55 cent a litre drop, 3.3 cents down on diesel pricing and a drop of 2.8 cents a litre for gasoline coming for this Thursday morning. I have to be a little cautious here as well, considering the US Independence Day holiday. Some of the data was not published so, I am going on the five days that I have and taking an estimate for the remaining days. There may be some subtle differences with the numbers this time around. Things should be back on track after the pricing adjustments have been made.

“The numbers I predicted for the run-up to summer have been right on so far. I predicted anywhere between $1.10 and $1.14 a litre for the first week of July and we’re there, and better yet, another drop in prices to carry us farther into the summer season. That should be a welcome break for anyone travelling at this time of year, and hopefully, another sign of things to come. I don’t expect to see a heavy play in pricing even if investors like to play the hurricane syndrome card. With demand weak, inventory building, and doubts about any economic recovery, there’s not much impetus to see oil increasing at this juncture.”

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
Numbers are down
You guessed it...
After this weeks trading session, the numbers will be down for next week and so will retail prices for the fuels I measure.
While I won't have the exact figures until later tonight, the data looks good. I expect heating and stove oils to drop close on 3.5 cents and diesel by close to the same.
Gasoline should go down another three cents a litre, according to what I have so far.
The trouble with data gathering this week is all centered on the US Independence Day holiday, which will offset the final numbers by a day. I should have most of the data by late this evening when I post the final press release and give you all the heads up.
Anyway, the word is : Expect a break at the retail level this coming Thursday morning.
I'll be in touch!
Regards,
George

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Not much change, but the numbers are down

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, June 29, 2010- The numbers are pointing down. Not by a great deal, but enough that there won’t be a price increase this week, in spite of the market activity last week. That’s from George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

‘I watched the markets closely last week and noticed the glee that must have been on investors eyes when word came of tropical storm Alex’s formation and track into the Gulf of Mexico region, and that put upwards pressure on oil and it’s related and refined commodities,” said Murphy. “But then I saw the downside the past two days when the markets started telling the true story of a stall in any world economy out there. It’s like I’ve been saying all along, that this market recovery is artificial and is boundless. That message has played in on oil prices again.

“Heating and stove oils show a decrease of 42/100ths of a cent, diesel down by a half cent and gasoline shows a drop of just three tenths of a cent. It may not be a big lot, but it may also be indicative of what’s to come next week.

“As of today, it seems that oil and its related commodities have begun another precipitous slide in price. I don’t know how long the message has to be out there before investors and governments finally get it that the world needs cheaper oil to aid any economic recovery efforts and prevent any hindrance to consumer spending. The world economy will not recover fully based on oil anywhere over OPEC’s old 2005 targets, or at prices for refined commodities that consumers and business can no longer afford. That’s the story that is being told in the world markets right now; that Big Oil has killed any prospect of immediate economic recovery happening. The real story of ‘invest in oil’ seems to have reverted to ‘divest from oil.’”

-30-

For more information, contact;

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


By the way. The budget was based on $83 US a barrel WTI.
I don't know where they got the forecast, but they didn't ask me.
Numbers so far:
March/10:$81.14 US
April/10: $84.82 US
May/10: $74.18 US
June/10: $75.33 US
Can you say "deficit"?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Welcome Hurricane Syndrome season!
Blowhard investors smiling on the news

Day one of investors rubbing their hands together in eager anticipation is off to a good start as today's NOAA forecast calls for the possible formation of the seasons first gulf storm that "may enter" the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil, of course, is well up on the news and investors have been given something to smile about with oil prices for the last few days.

No word from Confederation Building, where news of oil below $83 bucks US a barrel had some people in panic, considering this years budget estimates.

Oil itself, while still below the finance departments forecast, is on the rise with the news of the possible disruption in oil production in the Gulf of Mexico that has yet to happen, and that's the problem that everyone concerned with economic recovery should have.

Possible disruption...

That's your money that some of these investors and speculators are playing with...

We'll be in touch if this "blow" by investors ends up resulting in increased prices to your pockets.

Regards,

George

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Numbers are up.
So will prices this Thursday

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, June 22, 2010- Consumers can expect to see some upwards adjustments to fuel prices this coming Thursday when the PUB moves to make the next pricing adjustment. That’s according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“A three dollar movement upwards in the price of crude oil along with related, refined commodities has resulted in the numbers I have for this week. I expect heating and stove oils to increase by 2.46 cents per litre, diesel to increase by 2.4 cents per litre and gasoline to increase by 2.0 cents per litre,” said Murphy.

“This past week of market activity saw investors turn back to the Euro somewhat and that resulted in an increase in crude oil prices. An investment in the Euro by investor was seen as a sign that there’s ma turn-around in the fortunes of the markets, even though I still haven’t seen a clear indication that the austerity programming by some of the troubled Euro nations is working. It will be a while before we see that. To add to that, there was some comment about the debt-load carried by the United States that saw some investors withdraw from that currency.

“Even tough crude oil showed an increase in inventory last week, there was a slight draw against overall gasoline stocks that got some investors thinking positive about consumer demand increasing. I still believe counter to what I’ve heard out there. I don’t believe that the US consumer is quite ready to spend with more unemployed reported for last week’s measurement and there’s still a lack of evidence out there that consumers have an increased faith in a recovering economy worldwide. There’s also still plenty of skepticism out there about the world fiscal reality that has yet to play into the markets. What we see here is not reflecting the reality of the world markets as they should be right now.”

-30-

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
Just a note for today...

I'll be back with all the numbers later tonight, but for now, it looks like all fuels I measure will be on the increase this coming Thursday.

Here's what I have so far, six days out of seven days of data:
  • Heating and stove oils show 2.57 cents a litre up.
  • Diesel shows an added 2.5 cents up, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 2.4 cents a litre up.

That's it for now!

George

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Numbers up slightly
Crude oil increases and so do prices

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, June 15, 2010- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will see a slight upwards adjustment to most fuel prices this coming Thursday. That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“Numbers show slight upwards movement with the exception of diesel, which shows a modest 1/10th of a cent drop coming this Thursday,” said Murphy. “I expect heating and stove oils to increase by 1.28 cents a litre and gasoline to increase by a penny on a litre. That’s not out of line with what has been happening on the markets. Oil prices have increased by seven bucks a barrel US over the past two weeks. In spite of that increase in crude prices, we’ve seen but two cents on gasoline prices, mainly due to the corresponding increase in the Canadian dollar against its US dollar counterpart.

Crude slowly climbing, but for how long
Oil is increasing as a result of a corresponding increase in the Euro, which has gained close on four cents against the US dollar. That makes commodities like oil and refined products a little more attractive to investors. In order to see oil drop again now we have to see several factors come into play, and I’m still expecting them to kick in. Among them, look for news from the European Union from member countries like Greece and Spain; show their ability to keep ahead of their payments against their debt while carrying out their austerity programming. Also, the economic damage being caused by the oil spill in the gulf could potentially play a key factor in any ongoing US economic recovery efforts.

Average crude oil prices are down overall
“While crude oil may be rising, the numbers are still well down from what was projected in the last provincial budget and that must be taking a huge bite out of the province’s treasury. The losses in royalties, combined with a drop in the collection of taxes on fuels have conspired to impact the provinces take from high energy prices. It may be a break for the consumer but the province had better hope oil increases well past the $83 US for West Texas Intermediate projected for the next few months if it hopes to meet its fiscal targets.

Numbers so far

Here’s a breakdown of what I have for average oil prices so far this fiscal year:

April, 2010: $84.82 WTI
May, 2010 : $72.54 WTI
June, 2010 : $73.41 WTI

Numbers are within summer ranges
“The numbers at the pumps still remain close to the summer peak projection of anywhere between $1.10 and $1.14 cents for a litre of gasoline. Barring any other significant factors like OPEC cuts or hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, I expect the projected summer numbers to be close to those projected a few months back. I don’t expect the oil spill in the Gulf to affect prices. If there is a disruption, it will be with imports into the Gulf region and there are other ways of piping oil from one side of the US to the other, the same events that occurred after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. It’s steady as she goes, for now.”

-30-

For more information, contact:

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Not much change in the numbers

Hi to all..

Here's the expected price changes I have for this Thursday's price change.

As you can see, there's not much in the numbers and with my margin for error, there may in fact be no expected changes for both gasoline and diesel numbers.

***Heating and stove oils to drop by 48/100ths of a cent.
***Diesel shows a drop of 3/10ths of a cent, and...
***Gasoline shows an added 1/10th of a cent.

Yup...Numbers are that close...


That's it for now!

Regards,

George Murphy

Monday, June 07, 2010

Not much movement this week

I guess that last weeks rise in oil prices got everyone thinking. I know it did with me, especially when the data didn't match the outcome. A build in inventories of crude ended up increasing crude oil prices, that's the one I couldn't figure out...lol

Then Friday came, and we were back to the market reality of a possible double-dip recession and more financial worries in another Euro nation country, Hungary.

Doesn't rain, but it pours, to match today's weather, I guess!

Anyways, here's what I have with six days data out of seven for this regulation period:
  • Heating and stove oils are down by 45/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel is down by 3/10ths, and...
  • Gasoline is up by 1/10th.

Pretty steady numbers.

I'll be back with the final outcome of what to expect sometime tomorrow evening, but don't expect big changes in the interim with what I have here so far.

Regards,

George

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Numbers are up for the week
Slight increases in pricing on the way Thursday


Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, June 1, 2010 – Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will experience something with fuel prices that they haven’t seen in a month, an increase in prices for Thursday morning. That’s from George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

What to expect this Thursday
“There was some recovery in the price of crude last week that also saw refined commodity prices recover some. Consumers will see a small hit that I don’t expect will last long. Heating and stove oil prices are expected to increase by 1.90/Lt, while diesel is expected to increase by the same. Gasoline prices will increase by 1.3/Lt,” said Murphy.

Why numbers are up
“It was ironic that China figured into the equation last week. The Chinese stepped into the fray over the European Union fiscal crisis and said that the “Greek debt-load was manageable”. That sent investors back to commodities and away from the US dollar. It was ironic that the communist country was able to stymie the economy of some democratic countries. Rather ironic as well as the communist country is in dire need of currency reform themselves. Never the less, investors took a chance and sent oil upwards again, all in spite of the build in crude inventories last week.”

What to expect this week with oil
“Even though numbers may have been up this last week, I expect oil prices to decline again if oil builds further inventories again this week. There seems to be some confusion about economic recovery and the spottiness of it worldwide seems to be playing a factor in oil’s price volatility. I’ve seen some wild swings in pricing in a twenty four hour period! All this is casting doubt on upwards pressures on oil and I expect oil to decline further as a result. There’s still instability in the markets, and while that’s there, consumers should see current pricing for the time being, keeping in mind that anything can change market conditions overnight, including the Hurricane Syndrome season we’ve just entered.”

-30-

For more information, contact:

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member