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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oil up $4 US this week…

Refined commodity prices up slightly

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, February 21, 2012- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador may be worried about rising oil prices, and they will see some slight changes to refined commodity prices this week. That news comes from George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

Oil prices up

“Oil increased on optimism that the Greek bailout will help Greece deal with mounting debt and secondly, people are optimistic that positive economic numbers show that the US economic recovery is underway. I don’t think that Iran’s embargo of oil sales to Britain and France really figured into things this week as total exports to the two Euro nation countries only amount to a combined 60,000 barrels of crude a day, hardly worth mentioning. However, the story of refined prices may not show itself here until next week, if the market trend from Tuesday continues,” Murphy said.

The numbers

“Refined commodities failed to move upwards any huge amount, but they were still up. Any increases to prices now are starting to add pressure to consumers. All fuels I measure are up, heating/stove oils by 45/100ths, diesel by 1.0 cents a litre, and gasoline up by 5/10ths of a cent. Keep in mind that there may have been some volatility in after-market trading hours that I cannot track. Monday’s close of the markets in the US was one such day.”

Muskrat consideration

“The Pub should have been mandated to look at all energy options in examining the scope of the Muskrat Falls project. The simple case in point here is the fact that Newfoundland and Labrador consumers have very little option in choosing the type of heat they would like to have in their homes and businesses, and therefore, consumer prices remain high as a result of that. In weighing in on any of the given options to consider, consumer choice has been left out and best pricing practice has been forgotten about. If consumers have the simple choice of natural gas as a central heating source, for example, it comes into competition with heating oil, electricity and wood heat. Right now, if you ask the consumer in a natural gas market if they’re getting a good deal, they’ll probably tell you a firm ‘yes’. That option for using natural gas as a future source of heating in your home is not being brought to the market, and that could be even more costly to consumers down the road. They are being cheated out of a lever that could be used in getting better prices for a consumer commodity.

Choice’ Is being taken away, and that could be another loss in going the Muskrat Falls way and failing to look at all the options available.”

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For more information, contact;

George Murphy

Group researcher/member

Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

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