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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Oil holding steady

Distillate prices up on cold European weather

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, February 7, 2012- Consumers won’t see much change to gasoline prices this week, but the same can’t be said for distillate fuels as refined distillate prices continue to climb. That news comes from George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

What’s driving up distillate prices?

“Cold European weather is probably what is driving up refined distillate prices this time around. Record cold and the fact that European countries are the heaviest consumer of distillate-type fuels are combining to move heating, stove oil and diesel fuel prices this time around, and if the cold weather persists there, it may not be the end of it.” Murphy said.

The numbers

“Numbers show that heating and stove oils will increase by 1.05 cents a litre, while diesel fuel will increase by a penny. Gasoline prices are relatively steady, in fact showing two tenths of a cent down for this week. Keeping in mind my margin for error of three tenths, there may be no change to gasoline prices this time around.

Numbers for next week are starting to form already with distillates showing up so far by another two cents or so, with gasoline again showing hardly any moves, albeit upwards in the tenths of cents. Those preliminary numbers will change if the cold snap breaks. Keep in mind as well that this is very early and full data has to be collected before I can make a final guess early next week.”

Saudi Arabia to keep prices below $100 a barrel

Bin Talal, the CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding company says that his country cannot allow market jitters over the Iran situation drive up oil prices above the $100 US a barrel mark. Market fears are such that traders believe that if Iran were to block the Strait of Hormuz over its nuclear program, then any exports from Red Sea ports will be disrupted, thus driving up oil prices.

However, the same belief cannot be said of Brent crude prices, which are a more widespread use worldwide, which are set to break $120 US a barrel. Some are saying that the Saudi’s are playing the $100 a barrel card to calm market fears over a possible sharp rise in crude oil this summer where prices are projected to trade for $180 US.

“I don’t think that $180 US a barrel is possible however. If that happens, we’ll all be witness to a collapse in consumer spending and a collapse in any economic recovery the likes we’ve never witnessed before, you can count on that!”

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For more information, contact;

George Murphy

Group researcher/Member

Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

Twitter: @GeorgeMurphyNDP

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