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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Changes to fuel price regulation in effect

Just a quick note...

I'm just off the PUB website at and I just read their last release from this weeks price change...

If I have it right, the PUB will now be regulating all fuel prices on a weekly basis instead of every two weeks.

That will eliminate the need for the interruption criteria and formula and, according to their release, will keep prices in step with other Atlantic Canadian centers that are also regulated on a weekly basis.

As well, there are new guidelines governing diesel fuels that are also coming into effect. The new pricing includes kerosene into the mix and that's probably why my diesel numbers were way off last week. Instead of just regular diesel, the new diesel numbers include a blend of 75% kerosene and 25% diesel to meet new federal government guidelines on sulphur emissions. From the look of things, my diesel number will be like that of winter heating oils: only to be used as a guideline rather than the actual that will occur for price changes there, that is until I get things figured out.

I'll still be tracking all changes except now it seems I'll be filling your email boxes twice as

I know...

Just what you needed, right?

What you will see from me is a release based on six out of seven days of data from now on and a follow-up on my blog that will contain all seven days of data as well. Changes will still be on Thursdays with the cut-off of measurement days on Tuesdays previous to the released price changes from the PUB.

In other words, the same thing but four times a month, roughly.

Poor in-box, I know!

That's it for now!



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Numbers are down
Consumers to see pricing relief this week

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, January 26, 2010- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will see some pricing relief this coming Thursday morning when the Public Utilities Board moves to adjust prices. That’s from George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“We’re all going to see some pricing relief, particularly to heating and stove oils. Numbers there show a 4.06 cent a litre drop in the important winter fuel. Diesel numbers show close on 4.5 cents a litre while gasoline shows a drop of 2.1 cents a litre on the way,” said Murphy.

“In spite of a further drop in refiner capacity this last week, there was a very slight draw in oil inventory and that’s a sign that demand has not picked up over that same timeframe. Gasoline also showed a marked increase in inventories last week, indicating the same thing. Investors then turned to the US dollar to invest in rather than the previous appeal of commodities and the start of the weeks sell-off was on.

“I’m not seeing a larger drop this week simply because the US dollar has gained ground against the Canuck Buck, gaining almost three cents in the past two weeks. Had the Canadian dollar held its ground, we would have been looking at more substantive numbers than what consumers will be seeing this Thursday. If the dollar had to hold, we’d be looking at a drop of an additional two cents on top of these numbers.”


For more information, contact;

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

Monday, January 25, 2010

After twelve days of data

It's shaping up to be a good week, that's if you're waiting for a drop in prices.

Here's what I have so far for this week. Two business days to go!
  • Heating and stove oils are down by 3.99 cents a litre.
  • Diesel is down by 4.4 cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline is down by 2.1 cents a litre.

Troubles with the US economy, especially faith in the US banking sector after Obama's comments last week, are part to blame for the slide in oil prices and their related, refined commodities.

A willingness on the part of China to absorb some of the liquidity of lending in the economy there is also putting the pinch on possible growth and expansion of the Chinese economy as well.

I'll keep you all posted but, the word for now is "don't buy unless you really have to" for now.



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Numbers are down, but...

Most numbers are showing in the downwards direction but the problem here now is that they aren't down enough to warrant interruption.

Or, that is, I don't think so...

Here's what I have so far, and then I'll try and explain things.
  • Heating and stove oils show "down" by 3.45 cents per litre.
  • Diesel is down by 3.44 cents, and...
  • Gasoline shows "down" by 1.54 cents.

Here's the hook to all this:

While the heating oil number shows down by 3.45 cents per litre, we have to remember that we're also dealing with jet fuel in the mix. If that number is also down and we were able to account for it, we may very well be in interrupt territory if the jet fuel number slipped down far enough.

Problem is, I have no access to that number.

You may be well advised to hold off on buying any heating oil until after Thursday, just in case it is down further than what I have listed for heating oil itself...

Remember, that I can only use the heating oil as a rough indicator, that is, until the winter heating season ends.

Hope this all helps!



Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All the numbers are in
But there's something else I'm watching

As expected, the last day of trading didn't change the outlook on expected price increases by much, although the market news is hopeful that these latest increases may not last long.

Here's the final numbers first off;

  • Heating and stove oils are expected to increase by 3.73 cents a litre, down just a little from yesterday's forecast of 3.80 cents a litre.
  • Diesel shows an increase of 4.3 cents a litre, down 2/10ths from yesterdays numbers, and...
  • Gasoline shows up by 4.3 cents a litre. No change there.

Here's what I'm looking at for the next week at least, some of which could prove pivotal in consumer prices for the next price setting.

  • According to Bloomberg, an industry report (American Petroleum Institute) is showing a build in crude oil and distillate inventories that has yet to be confirmed by the US Energy Information Administration data, to be published tomorrow, sometime after 4 P.M (Newfoundland and Labrador time). If the data conforms a build in inventory, we may see upwards pricing pressure relief.
  • A break in the weather. Already, things are starting to return to normal with the US weather service forecasting warmer weather to move into the US northeast, the largest heating oil user region in the country, if not north America. Warmer weather could result in a drop in heating and stove oil pricing as a result of lower demand, and bring some side relief to diesel pricing as all are part of the distillate group of fuels.
  • The China government has cut back on monetary lending and removing close to 44 billion in liquidity from the Chinese economy. This might be a sign that all is not glowing in the Chinese economy, or they just want to slow down growth there.
  • Some other sectors are already putting out warnings of a drop in earnings, including Chevron. Again, this might prove to be a sign that any economic recovery words were short-lived. ALCOA also reported disappointing earnings today which may be anther sign of waning demand from the aluminum giant.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that all are going to impact consumer prices and help keep a dollar in our pockets. I hate to see any problems with economic recovery, but the bonus if any is that prices for petroleum products should come down.

That's it for now!

It's going to be an interesting week on the oil front. The recommendation here is to buy for the long term and hold off until the numbers take a beating. In other words, make the next fuel purchase last!

We'll be in touch with any changes.



Monday, January 11, 2010

Numbers show increases are on the way to consumers

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, January 11, 2010- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will be paying more for petroleum products this coming Thursday when the Public Utilities Board moves to make pricing adjustments. That’s from George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“With thirteen days out of a possible fourteen days of data available, there is enough information there to inform consumers of impending price increases to come this Thursday morning. The numbers are substantial. Consumers should see an added 3.8 cents a litre onto heating and stove oil prices, an added 4.5 cents a litre on diesel numbers and an added 4.3 cents a litre on gasoline,” Murphy said.

“Blame colder weather in the US, a falling US dollar, and the fact that there has been so substantial pick-up in refinery capacity and you have the recipe for increases coming. Refinery capacity has dropped in the previous week to sit just below eighty per cent, a near historic low, in an effort to mitigate building refined product and help support prices. If the Canadian dollar wasn’t strong against the US greenback, we could have been looking at even more substantial numbers. The Canuck Buck has gained close to two cents against its US counterpart.

“While there was some slight building in inventories of gasoline and crude oil last week, I would have to see a prolonged period of increases there to say that we’ve seen the end of any increases. Distillate supplies that include heating, stove oils and diesels saw a drawdown in inventories this past week and the colder weather in the US will also affect distillate supplies again this week as well, dampening any possibility of pricing relief for the time being.”


For more information, contact;

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

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Numbers still up after weekend trading

No relief this week, I'm afraid!

Here's what I have after the weekend sessions and twelve days out of a possible fourteen days for this pricing session. Numbers are still showing increases on the way for Thursday.

  • Heating and stove oils show an increase of 3.79 cents a litre.
  • Diesel now shows an added 4.4 cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows an increase of 4.3 cents a litre.

The economic news continues to show improvement and the US dollar isn't showing any sustained improvement. That, in itself is telling investors that commodities are worthy of investment rather than any form of currency.

The plus in this round of increases?

The Canadian dollar continues to gain against the US greenback and the result is a less of an impact on any increases we could have been seeing this time around. If this had been two weeks ago, most fuel prices would be showing close on five cents a litre, if not more, for consumers.

I wouldn't call it lucky, but hey. Anything to cut the increases right?

I'll be back again Monday night. Remember that there's only a week left in the voting for the bloggers awards. Get out there and click on BOTW 18!



Friday, January 08, 2010

Oil's reality bites!

Sorry I couldn't post ahead of the scheduled time for a "possible" price change on Thursday. This computer of mine had a technical issue that could only be fixed Thursday and that wasn't the time to send out another blog posting of any possible changes.

Anyway, there weren't any changes as you all know by now.

That's not to say that there aren't going to be for next week, because all numbers are still ranging upwards to the point that, if the bottom fell out of the barrel now, any increase in fuel prices will be unavoidable!

Here's what I have so far with nine days of data out of a possible fourteen days:
  • Heating and stove oils now show an increase of 3.6 cents a litre.
  • Diesel shows an added 4.3 cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline now shows an added 3.8 cents a litre at the pumps this Thursday coming.

Needless to say, the consumer is going to pay for the added revenue to the provincial treasury, both through oil royalties as well as added taxation collected on higher prices!

But, you're going to fill up before Wednesday and help keep that tax money, or at least some of it, in your pockets right?

Before I go, don't forget to vote for your favorite blog at and make it mine! Gas and Oil is listed on the right hand side of the Blogroll page and I'm listed as BOTW 18.

Get on the computer and vote and while you're at it, have a look at the others listed there. They make for some great reading!!

I'll be back with another update By Monday night, I hope.

'Til then!


Monday, January 04, 2010

Another day, another number...


A lot of email from people asking me what is in the works for this weeks price change, if there is going to be one! After all, this would be an interruption week if prices do change.

Here's what I have so far with the fuels I measure:

  • Heating and stove oils show an increase of 3.37 cents a litre.
  • Diesel shows an increase of 3.4 cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 2.95 cents, not inclusive of taxes.

Here's what I'm looking for.

For the interrupter process to work, we have to have a movement of four cents a litre over (or below) what the last average for the previous price setting. In this case, when numbers were set last week, and we saw a new retail price for the fuels covered, the six days measure so far are still below what is required. The problem here is that we have one more business day to go to allow for the "calling the shot".

The numbers may not be there right now but, after tomorrow's business day, the average for the fuels I measure could very well be in interrupter territory and we could be looking at possible increases to consumers come Thursday morning.

Look for another posting tomorrow night, and remember: when I publish my numbers, I also work on a margin of error of three tenths of a point. If my numbers are greater than 3.7 cents a litre showing, you might want to get your fill just in case.

As well, don't forget to vote for your favorite blog at the Newfoundland and Labrador blogroll!