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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Didn't last long at all

That retreat?

Stopped when prices fell back about three tenths of a cent...

Faint hope, to say the least!

With weekend electronic trading almost done, numbers are still showing increases to all fuels across the board coming for this Thursday. Here's what I have, so, you might want to pass the word around to everyone:
  • Heating and stove oils show an increase of 4.89 cents per litre.
  • Diesel shows an added 5.4 cents, and ...
  • Gasoline shows an added five cents per litre for this Thursday coming.
I'll be back again, no doubt!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Oil retreats, but for how long?

Why do I ask?

Check out the link, It may be nothing at all, or it could be everything that is to come, and everything the markets fear.

But, for today, just a little relief for what's coming to consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador next week. Today's slight retreat didn't do much to erase the possibility of increases.

Here's the data with two days of activity:
  • Heating and stove oils are up by 4.58 cents per litre.
  • Diesel is showing "up" by 5.1 cents, and...
  • Gasoline is also "up" by 5.1 cents per litre.
I'll be back again with another update sometime late tomorrow night, or early Saturday morning.



Thursday, February 24, 2011

Early numerical data in

Hi to all...
This is just an early indication of what we can expect NEXT Thursday with all the Middle East and North Africa unrest.
After ONE DAY of data, here's what I have as potentially in store for consumers for NEXT Thursday:
  • Heating and stove oils show an added 5.2 cents a litre.
  • Diesel shows an added six cents even, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 5.5 cents a litre.
I would suggest a fill-up of the home heating oil tanks is now in store as the world oil/political situation will only get worse on the markets before then.

I'll keep everyone up to date on how the numbers are working out, but, right now, the word to the consumer for next Thursday is "not good".


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

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Consumers to notice price changes

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, February 22, 2010- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will start to feel the effects of market turmoil as Middle East unrest again plays out , this time from Libya. That comes from George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

"While this weeks numbers don't look substantial, they will really start to take a movement upwards on all fuels starting next week as the Libya situation only started to take shape in the markets as of today's on-floor trading", said Murphy. "I fully expect to see consumers to take another hit next week as numbers are already starting upwards for the next regulatory session."

"This week, I expect heating and stove oils to show just a mere 3/100ths of a cent upwards movement, diesel to show a 8/10ths of a cent upwards move, and gasoline to show a 1.7 cent a litre movement upwards. However, the markets already show upwards movements for all four fuels by close on two cents a litre that I do measure for next week, all as a result of the Middle East unrest, and what role it's going to play in the oil markets."

"While the turmoil in the Middle east continues in Libya, it could easily spread to other oil producing nations, or OPEC members in the region and could further compound the oil market problem. While the Saudis may be able to handle a production or supply disruption problem with the four million barrels spare capacity that country has, it cannot handle similar problems if the unrest were to spread to Iran, which is said to be on the edge of further Middle East instability. That, in effect, would be saying 'force majeure' and then the sky would be the limit to oil prices and to prices for refined commodities. The only thing that may save us, or insulate us somewhat, is a high Canadian dollar, and even that may not save us if economies collapse as a result of high energy pricing."

"We're keeping a sharp eye on the Middle East situation as it progresses."


For more information, contact:

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

Monday, February 21, 2011

International news might bite consumers
Just a note to let everyone know that I am watching the situation in Libya play itself out on the international markets the last couple of days. It's not the best news economically, but should prove to be a wake-up call to everyone dependent on Middle East crude supplies, including Canada.
First, the numbers...
Here's what I have so far, keeping in mind that the markets were closed and I have no data for today, except the above futures prices that would "add' another possible 2.6 to gasoline numbers, and the same to the heating, stove and diesel numbers. I'll leave it to one's imagination what the cash numbers would be as a result of today's news.
Either way, the numbers are up.
  • Heating and stove oils show an added 17/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel shows an added 6/10ths of a cent, and...
  • Gasoline shows up by 1.4 cents a litre so far.
In the news
So far, crude oil (WTI) has been affected by events overseas, all in spite of the markets being closed for the Presidents Day holiday in the US. Electronic trading has seen WTI settle at $92.75 US a barrel, an increase of $6.55 a barrel US. crude oil has not been this high since September, 2008.
Heating oils and gasoline are also well up in trading, up by 11 and ten cents a US gallon respectively.
No doubt, consumers will be hit with increases in price across the board this week as supply disruptions have a very good chance of playing out in the Libya protests. According to Bloomberg, the Nafoora Oil Company operating in Libya have already shut down operations and production because of a general strike, shutting down almost 100K of oil production.
Libya is OPEC's eighth largest producer and exporter of oil, supplying the world with 1.6 million barrels per day, or one per cent of production. That might not seem a lot, but with the possibility of disruptions occurring here with other oil companies that are now pulling international staff from Libya, we could be headed for a record week in oil pricing that could rival the Katrina hurricane event. What happens here could happen in Iran and other OPEC producing countries that could send the world back into recession again, well ahead of any economic recovery.
Warnings here for Canada
While Saudi Arabia may be able to pick up any production that would cover the losses due to disruptions of production in Libya, it does not have the spare refinery capacity to cover off any disruption in production from Iran, and that spells trouble for the rest of the world dependent on OPEC production, including Canada. This country still imports some Middle East oil, while, at the same time, being self-sufficient in oil production. While we could recover any losses in domestic consumption of oil by using our own sources of supply, the government needs to ensure that Canadian consumers and industry are covered here with sufficient domestic supplies before any further exports are allowed to other countries dependent on our resources.
Pretty simple really. Don't sign any more deals that ensures a safe supply to outside countries before you use your own resources for your own people first.
That's it for now!

I'll be back tomorrow night with a final breakdown on what to expect this Thursday.

Just keep in mind that anything could happen in the next day or two with this extraordinary situation in the Middle East.
George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First time for everything
Short, sweet and simple

Not much change in the numbers at all.
Here's what I have for this week with all seven days data now in:
  • Heating and stove oils show a drop of 38/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel shows "no change". Zero movement, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 3/10ths of a cent.

In other words, the numbers are pretty much within the confines of my working margin for error and there may, in fact, be no change at all for any of the fuels I measure.

First time I've ever run into this scenario.

That's it for this week!


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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Numbers remain steady

Just a quick note here. Here's what I have for my "six day". Keep in mind that I only have a "five day" for my diesel number:
  • Heating and stove oils show a 42/100ths of a cent drop.
  • Diesel shows a 1/10th of a cent drop, and...
  • Gasoline shows an increase of 3/10ths of a cent a litre.
I'll be back again with the final numbers tomorrow night, but don't expect too many surprises. Not much change showing so far!



Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Oil prices down
Refined commodities remain "fluid"
Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, February 08, 2011- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador won't notice much change at the pumps when the PUB adjusts prices again this coming Thursday morning. That comes from George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

"While oil prices have retreated by almost four bucks US a barrel, refined commodities have been volatile. I've seen all numbers retreat by several cents US a gallon, only to recover at the end of this session. We started out at $2.46.35 US for a gallon of gasoline at the start of this regulatory period, for example, only to witness a retreat in the price and then a recovery to yesterday's trading at $2.47.67 US a gallon. Overall, that means a small drop in gasoline prices to come", said Murphy.

"I think everyone knows now that refined commodities are traded no differently than anything else on the markets. Part of the price of oil may be associated with any acquisition costs, but that's about it. I have never seen this much volatility associated with refined petroleum product as what I have seen with the news the past three weeks. It's like the speculators don't know where to park their dollars."

"It's odd, really".

What consumers can expect to see Thursday
"I expect heating and stove oils to increase by just 11/100ths of a cent, diesel to increase by 8/10ths and gasoline to drop by 7/10ths of a cent. Heating and stove oils are showing 'neutral' as they are within my three tenths of a cent margin for error, just too close to zero to predict which way they'll go on Thursday".

For more information, contact;

George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices
Just as well to say "little change" this week

Numbers are showing little change in prices this week, albeit there is a small slide beginning to show in the numbers that correspond to the slide in oil prices so far this regulation period.

Here's what I have so far:
  • Heating and stove oils show up by 1/10th of a cent.
  • Diesel shows up by 7/10ths, and...
  • Gasoline shows down by 7/10ths of a cent.
While refined commodity prices started high, continuing the trend set at the end of last week's price setting, they did start to recede against the numbers to average at almost a "break even" for the week so far.

What is the cause of this?

Seems that there was some inventory building last week, but the big news seems to be the slight easing of tensions in Egypt. Oil has been experiencing a slight retreat over the weekend on the news of the lessening of a possible interruption in the shipping of crude through the Suez Canal and the million barrel per day Cairo pipeline, both of which, if affected, could disrupt almost three per cent of world production.

We'll keep you posted on the final numbers to expect tomorrow night.



Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Middle east turmoil plays into markets
Media release
Conception Bay South, NL, February 01, 2011- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will see some effects from the political turmoil in the Middle East when the PUB adjusts prices this coming Thursday, but not as much effect as one would think. That comes from George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.
Egypt situation plays heavy
"I think everyone has been watching the situation in Egypt develop in the news over the past week or so, and I'm no different, having watched it all unfold with a different reason: it's effect on oil prices. It has been interesting, none the less. And as word spreads in the Middle East of people trying to address the needed political changes in their respective countries and protests mount, there has been a marked increase in the price of oil as a result, but not the same effect on refined commodities, which for some, may be surprising," said Murphy. "Commodity prices have increased slightly, but a higher Canadian dollar has insulated us from exceptional increases in prices for the most part.
Egypt is a lightning rod for the whole Middle east, where almost forty per cent of the worlds oil comes from. There is a good chance that this upheaval will continue into other oil producing nations and that may well prove to be a harbinger of higher oil prices yet to come. Egyptian market worries are caused by the possibility of short term shipping and supply problems that come from a possibility of the closure of the Suez Canal and not directly linked to a shortage in production. If these mass protests hit countries like Iran or another OPEC producer nation for example, we could see run-away pricing. Prices may very well stay high as well because we simply don't know the ramifications of a change in government and what eff3ect it would have on peace in the Middle east. As much as the present government in Egypt may be hated, it did somewhat ensure a peace brokered between other Muslim nations and Israel, for example.
Oil prices could be entering a term of uncertainty.
The numbers for this week
"This week, I have heating and stove oils to increase by 1.73 cents per litre, diesel to increase by 1.7 cents a litre and gasoline to increase by just 7/10ths of a cent. US consumers have seem a 16 cent per gallon increase to heating, stove and diesel fuels and a 14 cent per gallon increase to gasoline prices in the last week since January 25th in comparison. While refined commodity prices have also increased, particularly distillate fuels, they remain under pressure from weakening consumer demand and higher inventories, in spite if the cold spell in the US northeast. These prices could be much higher than what we are seeing right now, except for the key word 'demand' playing into the refined commodity markets.
"There still is a huge concern over where heating and stove oil prices are heading however. Prices are close to the second highest reached, the highest being $1.24 a litre in the spring of 2008 when oil was working up to hit a record of $147 US a barrel by July, 2008. Heating fuels are again unaffordable for most at a critical juncture of the heating season when temperatures are at their coldest and there's a promise of more cold weather to come.
For more information, contact;
George Murphy
Group researcher/Member
Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices