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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Numbers down very slightly

Canadian dollar limits gain in oil prices

Media release

Conception Bay South, July 26, 2011- While oil prices have crept upwards in recent days, refined commodity numbers are showing a slight decline, and that should prove to be to the benefit of consumers when the PUB adjusts prices this coming Thursday. That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher with the consumer group for Fair Gas Prices.

“The Canadian dollar has gained almost two cents against the US greenback this past week, and that allowed for a slight retreat to show in the numbers for this week. All numbers, as modest as they are, are showing downwards for this week’s impending price change,” said Murphy.

The numbers

“Heating and stove oils show a drop of 25/100ths and distillate also shows downwards by 4/10ths. Gasoline shows a drop of 8/10ths of a cent on the way to consumers this time around.”

“Troubles with the deals between the Democrats and Republicans south of the border played heavy against the US dollar as investors became concerned that there would not be a deal between the Republicans and the US President Obama over US Debt. Investors have been pulling their money out of the US dollar as a result and sinking back their funds into other commodities and currencies, like oil and the Canadian dollar.

The Canadian dollar also showed gains against the US dollar as a result.”

“Sovereign debt of countries remains a factor that is playing into the markets as investors are not seeing too many currencies out there that are paying dividends out for the future. Trust in the markets is making a fluid situation that has also run up the price of gold in recent days. Until investors see some trust building from countries in dealing with debt, it’s almost like they’ll be looking for a safe haven to place their funds.”

“From what I’m seeing right now, there is really no place left to run besides gold. Uncertainty remains a factor playing heavy in the markets. Uncertainty means volatility.”


For more information, contact;

George Murphy

Group researcher/Member

Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Monday, July 25, 2011

Six days in...

Here's what we're all looking for this week with one more day to go:
  • Heating and stove oils are down by 19/100ths of a cent.
  • Diesel is down by by a half cent, and...
  • Gasoline shows a drop of 9/10ths of a cent.
I'll be back tomorrow night with the final numbers for this week's price change.



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Final numbers for Thursday show no change

Hi to all…

All seven days data in now show a zero across the board, if you take into account the margin for error I work with, 3/10ths of a cent.

See how close this one comes, out of curiosity, if nothing else.

Here’s what I have:

· Heating and stove oils show an increase of 2/100ths of a cent.

· Diesel shows a drop of 1/10th of a cent, and…

· Gasoline shows up by 3/10ths of a cent.

That’s it!

By the way, you can now follow me on Twitter @GeorgeMurphyNDP if that interests you all.


George Murphy

Monday, July 18, 2011

A statistical "zero"

As predicted a week ago, don't expect too much change to fuel prices this week.

Keeping in mind my working margin for error of three tenths of a cent for any numbers I do have, here's what's showing for this week:
  • Heating and stove oils show a 1/10th of a cent increase.
  • Diesel shows no change, and...
  • Gasoline shows a half cent upwards.
One day of trading left to get before the final numbers come to fruition, but, right now, there's no change likely to any prices for Thursday, if this keeps up.

I'll let you all know.



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

European banks step in

Relief from the debt crisis for now?

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, July 12, 2011- Consumers will again experience an upwards price adjustment to all fuels this week when the Public Utilities Board adjusts prices this coming Thursday. That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher and member of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“The European union banks have stepped in to buy up some of the debt from some of the EU’s member countries and that has led to some relief in the financial system of some troubled Euro union countries like Portugal, Spain and Italy. Oil increased this week as a result of a more optimistic economic mood, only set off earlier in the session with a less than stellar US jobs report,” said Murphy.

“Numbers show an increase to heating and stove oils of 3.28 cents a litre with diesel rising by 4.4 cents a litre. Gasoline numbers show an increase as well by 3.6 cents a litre. There’s still a lot of volatility in the markets as there are factors preventing any meteoric rise in prices. The relief of some of the Euro member’s debts by the European Union banks may be just a temporary measure until the troubled countries get a handle on how to best resolve their various debt problems.

“About to enter the picture in the next month or so are debt problems from none other than the United States which lies some $14 trillion in the hole. With a less than spectacular jobs report added to the possibility of Obama having to introduce his own austerity measures to handle the US debt-load, we could have a scenario for future drops in oil prices as consumers adjust to higher taxation that will affect consumer spending. The possibility is there that the Chinese government already recognizes the signs of a slowdown and they are trying to increase interest rates to stymie an ever-increasing rate of inflation. Manufacturing there is slowing as a result.

“I don’t see a steady increase in fuel prices in the immediate future. We’re mere weeks away from the first Atlantic hurricane as an excuse for investors, and we’re almost through the half-way point of the summer driving season. It looks like the projection of gasoline below $1.40 a litre for the summer is holding for now. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the remainder of the season!”


For more information, contact;

George Murphy

Group researcher/Member

Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Monday, July 11, 2011

Trouble in the markets?
Numbers up again, but for how long?

Seems that the gains that oil prices made over the last couple of days has been pared by the realities seeping into the markets.

What we saw go up, and with consumer prices going up this week, may be coming down soon.

All the data now coming in shows that oil prices could be facing their biggest challenge to stay up in price yet. A drop in crude oil imports through China along with a weaker than expected jobs report may soon play into the markets as demand for crude oil may be slipping.

While oil prices for West Texas Intermediate rose on average from last week by close on $4 US a barrel, oil has begun a slide that, for some, hopefully will continue into the next session and into refined commodities.

Just not this week...

Here's what I have for this regulatory session so far, keeping in mind that I only have five days of data on gasoline prices. The rest of the numbers cover six days of market trading:
  • Heating and stove oils show an added 3.6 cents per litre.
  • Diesel shows an increase of 4.2 cents a litre, and...
  • Gasoline shows an added 3.4 cents a litre.
Oh well...

This change will put us halfway through July with the price still below the $1.40 a litre the numbers showed as the average for the summer for the St. John's area from myself, and well below the $1.50 a litre expected by all the other analysts and speculators out there.

Remember that word "volatility" is still a factor out there...

I'll be back tomorrow night with the final numbers on what to expect for Thursday morning.



Saturday, July 09, 2011

Resource give-aways continue...
Welcome aboard Alberta!

And you thought that the 1985 signing of the Atlantic Accord was bad, and that it was a bad thing for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to be upset over our resources sailing away!

There's a pipeline construction project about to start in Alberta that will see almost 900,000 barrels of crude oil processed in Texas rather than inside Alberta. In context, making our offshore oil production a mere pittance against what Alberta has to export!

It's called the Keystone Project...

Canadians should be going off their heads,but there's hardly a whimper, except from the likes of some unions who are warning about the deal that would ship tons of bitumen to Texas for refining. It's just another classic example of crude oil resources going south of the border to power Uncle Sam's economy, rather than keep our own economy powered with secondary processing jobs.

The sale of this country's resources continues, and as reguards to resource giveaways, we at "gas and oil" would like to welcome aboard Alberta as being partly responsible for adding to Canada's energy shortages in the future!

On that "sour" note, I'll be in touch tomorrow evening on the trend in price changes for this coming Thursday!



Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Consumers to take a hit

Hi to all…

Here’s the final numbers and what to expect with all seven days of data now in.

Sad to say, but after last week’s drop, they’ll be increasing again.

· Heating and stove oils show an increase of 2.45 cents a litre.

· Diesel shows an added 2.1 cents a litre, and…

· Gasoline shows an added 4.5 cents a litre.


European Union money woes

The bailout of Greece continues to weigh in the markets the last week after the Greek government passed austerity measures to pay off debt financing from the European Union. It will be some time before faith is restored enough in the financial markets of Europe to say that the financial crisis is over however. Greece has maturing debt that will probably be called in by other institutions in the next few years that some fear that Greece will eventually have to face a default situation.

In the meantime, investors poured money back into commodities from other currencies like the US dollar, and that resulted in the rise of oil prices and refined commodities.

Saudis to keep production the same

It was thought by some in the markets last week that OPEC’s leading oil producer, Saudi Arabia, would follow western nations in increasing oil production after some western nations decided to release oil from strategic reserves.

“Not so fast” now seems to be the catch phrase in the markets after word got out that the Saudis would instead reign back oil production with the US moving first to increase overall crude oil supply. The Saudis walked into a meeting of OPEC members two weeks ago asking fellow members to increase output to keep oil prices down to $90 US a barrel, but they were met with opposition to any increase in output by Iran and Venezuela.

The move by the west was designed to bring down oil prices in the hope that the timed release of oil would help replace lost Libyan oil production as well as drop the price of oil. Western leaders like President Obama of the United States openly stated that high oil prices were going to hinder any possible economic recovery and the move was an attempt to bring prices down.

Inventories drop

Crude oil and gasoline inventories took a pounding last week with total refinery production picking up to range 88% of operable capacity. The numbers pointed to a pickup in demand and a sign that consumers were buying in spite of the high price again.

That’s it for this week!


George Murphy

Group researcher/Member

Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The markets are saying
"Give Greece a chance"

My apologies to the Beatles for that one!

You're all going to hate me this week, I think!

In what must be a remarkable turnaround in the markets this week, the European Union has approved the final installment in funding for Greece's own bailout after the Greek parliament approved austerity programming by a narrow margin.

That, and the fact that Saudi Arabia may not increase production after the United States and other western nations began a timed release of oil from strategic reserves around the world to replace lost Libyan production, has resulted in a rebound for oil prices and prices for oil's refined commodities.

Here's what I have so far, with five days out of a possible seven, in place for this Thursday's price change:
  • Heating and stove oils show an increase of 2.05 cents a litre.
  • Diesel shows an added 2.1 cents so far, and...
  • Gasoline is up by 4.4 cents a litre.
Oh well!...

Needless to say, with the markets closed on Monday, I don't expect much change to the numbers for Tuesday trading, which is the last day to track right now.

Look for numbers close to this on Tuesday evening's post.