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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No big changes in the numbers
Huge price difference in the local heating oil markets observed

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, February 16, 2010- For the second week in a row, consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador won’t be seeing any great changes to fuel pricing when the PUB moves to adjust prices later this week. That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

What’s in the numbers?
“Oil prices stayed relatively steady this past week with today’s trading session being the exception. Prices fluctuated anywhere between $74 and today’s close at $77.11 US a barrel. Refined commodity prices also rose along with oil and that absorbed any modest decreases that were expected. Heating and stove oil prices are expected to drop by 24/100ths of a cent, diesel by only a tenth, while gasoline is expected to drop by a half penny. It wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t change considering my margin for error of three tenths of a cent.”

From the markets this week

• Refinery capacity remains at near historic lows, recorded down to 78.4 per cent.
• Last inventory report showed an increase in crude oil inventories and a drop in imports. Could be a significant signal to the markets of waning demand amidst problems with economic recovery.
• Gasoline inventories also showed an increase last week of more than two million barrels, another indicator of possible demand drops for the fuel.
• A slight drop in distillate inventory, not unexpected as a result of poor winter weather in the northeast US last week.
• Oil bounced back as a result of the increase in the Euro against the US dollar. There’s a lot of faith that the European Union’s confidence in the Greece debt recovery plan.
• Finally to note: We could see another fight between Britain and Argentina in the South Atlantic over exploration and development rights around the Falkland Islands (The Malvinas). The Argentina government is now refusing entry to oil companies that are getting supplies from Argentinian ports, forcing oil companies to add tremendous expense costs to exploring off the coast of the islands. The recent war over the islands in 1982 cost several hundred lives

Local heating oil pricing
Here’s a run-down of local heating oil prices in the immediate St. John’s, Mount Pearl and CBS area:

Company Cents/Litre
Harvey’s Oil............ 75.74
Irving Oil................. 73.74
North Atlantic......... 73.74
Ultramar.................. 73.74
ESSO (Imperial)..... 73.74
Chafe’s Oil................ 73.74
Discount Fuels......... 68.0
A1 Fuels.................... 68.3
Skinner’s Oil............. 69.45

Difference Hi/Lo $78.99 (HST included) based on a 900Lt fill-up.

That’s it for now!

For more information, contact;

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

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