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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Power of Open Line...

A funny thing happened…
Numbers down again this week
Hi to all,

I’m back!

I’ll be the first to tell you to never underestimate the power of an Open Line show!...

A couple of weeks back, I had considerable trouble finding a new and timely source for my pricing information. In telling radio show host, Bill Rowe about the problem, a father asked his son, a Newfoundlander working in New York for an energy information firm, if he could help out myself with my predicament. As it turns out, the son working in New York gave me some direction in getting to my new source of information!

Small world it is!

I’ve been working up new numbers over the past two weeks and I feel that there’s enough stability in the numbers that I can “go” with them. Hence, I’m back in business!

Thank you to the listener of the show that day, and thank you New York!
In the numbers
Turns out that I have all seven days data as well in a timely fashion as well, so, without further ado, here's what I have for this Thursday's price changes:

Heating and stove oils down by 2.24 cents a litre.
Diesel shows a drop of 2.5 cents a litre, and...
Regular gasoline shows a drop of 3.1 cents a litre.
Market highlights
·         Besides the fact that Syria will turn over it's chemical weapons, negating (for now) a possible strike by the US, there's a bit of a thaw in US and Iranian relations that is also playing into the markets. Hence, some added downwards pressure for all fuels.
·         Canadian dollar continues to remain relatively stable against the US greenback, averaging about $1.03

If we lose the North Atlantic refinery…
This would be a threat to consumer pricing on a couple of perspectives. We have already lost the Dartmouth, NS Imperial refinery that closed a couple of months ago. With the possible closure of North Atlantic, that would leave the province heavily dependent upon the Irving, new Brunswick refinery as a single source of supply. That leaves us as consumers, vulnerable to swings in price costs, particularly for added shipping.
                It also leaves Canada with one refinery in Atlantic Canada, and that much less refining capability. That’s not a good thing for the country in the event that the Irving facility has to shut in for any length of time. Our energy security depends on it, and consumers depend on cheaper products produced here, rather than see them shipped in. No doubt, it will impact consumer prices somewhat.
                It could affect the offshore/onshore industry. Remember that we have a lot of crude offshore that is not exactly what’s wanted in the markets right now. Hebron crude oil will need to be refined in a facility unlike that which we have now. If the refinery here can’t do it, I feel it will devalue the cost of Hebron crude in the markets as it will take an added expense in getting that type of crude to another facility to process it.
                I don’t believe that the price of “dirty” crude will remain high. The advent of lighter oils availability and desirability will lower the price of crude oils that are acquired by facilities such as North Atlantic. Indeed, it may very well be part of the reason why we’re seeing a partial thaw in US/Iranian relations. Light oil has put some pressure on OPEC countries to respond to the threat of light oil. In other words, there may be hope for the refinery yet. In the least, I believe it can survive.  

Of note…
Numbers may be off slightly as a result of working up my new averages. You technically need seven days to make up an average for the week to play against the week previous to account for accuracy. Last week’s data to compare against only has five days of data, but I went with it anyway for "notice" to everyone which was important in making your purchase decision, especially for heating oils!


George Murphy
Twitter: @GeorgeMurphyMHA