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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Updated September 28, 2010

A note on Hurricane Igor


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was not allowed under declared states of emergency and that was contained under the old Emergency Preparedness Act, repealed in 2007.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!


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!


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.


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!


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