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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, April 20th, 2017


Hi to all,

Here are expected price changes for this Thursday:

*Heating, stove oil and Diesel are all expected to increase by 3/10ths of a cent a litre, and......
*Gasoline shows a drop of a cent a litre.

   Keep in mind my margin for error of 3/10ths of a cent a litre.

Market highlights

Saudi's say "too soon"
In what some consider to be a major shift in OPEC's thinking, the Saudi Arabian oil minister says it is "too soon" to talk about extending the cuts OPEC and non-OPEC members agreed to back in November.

   The six month agreement to cut production is a good reason why some have seen the price of oil rise to present levels, but it was expected by most that the agreement would be extended for another six months beyond May.
   Stay tuned as OPEC meets again in Vienna May 25th.

Province to cut back on gas taxes

The budget has some good news for consumers who were hoping to see a retreat in gasoline prices.

   Largely unexpected, the provincial government made the decision to lower gas taxes by 8.5 cents a litre (9.8 taxes in) by June 1st, and a further four cents a litre (4.9 taxes in) as of December 1st, while the remainder of the initial increase will be reviewed in the Fall.

   I was initially hoping that the budget would lower gas taxes by five cents a litre, so, this move was surprising, but at the same time, I was pleased to see the retreat in taxes immediately before summer, and well after the upswing in summer gasoline prices.

   It will also serve to put a little more disposable income into the hands of consumers as well as transportation-based small businesses.



Regards for now,

George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, April 13, 2017


Good evening to all,

Here's what I have for price changes this week, and the news is not good. It's just about all geo-political.

While I'm at it, I'll throw in this little disclaimer: "While not the actual price change that may occur, the numbers will be indicative of what direction prices will go."

*Heating/stove oils show an increase of 2.2 cents a litre.
*Diesel fuel shows an increase of 2.4 cents a litre, and...
*Gasoline shows an increase of 4.4 cents a litre.

Market highlights

Libya output weighs markets
Libyan production has once again been almost fully shut in after hitting close to 700,000 barrels a day in output just last month.
      News out of Libya indicates that the largest output terminal at the Sharara field has been cut off reducing Libyan output to just 250,000 barrels a day.

Syrian attacks raise tensions
Tensions between the US and Russia after the US strikes in Syria are on the increase, helping to bolster oil prices.

Demand up again
US inventory reports from both the EIA and API (American Petroleum Institute) indicate an increased demand in gasoline, even as refinery capacity picks up to meet summer production.
I'll get a better indication of increased demand from tomorrow's EIA inventory data.

IS US shale able to keep pace?
While OPEC and non-OPEC cuts are beginning to take hold, hitting the oil markets with close to 1.8 million barrels less in the markets, US shale production has only responded with an increase in 700,000 barrels increase in domestic production.
     That leaves a gap of 1.1 million barrels of growth that must give investors a possible "window for investment". That window may also be complicated by slower than expected growth in production as former oil workers may not go back to work at their previous jobs as fast as when they first went into the industry.
     Nothing like a good oil price collapse to bring an industry back to its own reality.

That's it for this week!

Regards,

George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, April 6th, 2017


Hello to everyone,

Here's what I have for this week's price changes. I expect everyone will share this one!

*Heating and stove oils show an increase of 2,7 cent...s a litre.
*Diesel fuel shows an increase of 2.8 cents a litre, and...
*Gasoline shows an increase of 4 cents a litre.

Market highlights

OPEC to extend production cuts agreement
In what some are considering a surprise to the markets, strong rumours are persisting that show OPEC members in agreement on extending their cuts to production for longer than the six months first agreed to in November.
While the cuts may help to bring prices up, there are some worries amongst members that other non-OPEC producers may not extend their end of the deal, and continue to sign on to self-imposed cuts. Non-OPEC producers agreed to carry out almost 600,000 barrels in production cuts, making total cuts to the market almost 1.8 million barrels a day.

Demand for gasoline on the upswing?
Expectations of a extension to production cuts aren't the only item making news with oil this week.
Expectations of a draw-down on inventories of both gasoline and oil are putting some upwards pressure on prices this week as gasoline shows a draw against inventory at the same time as refinery capacity increased this past week by another two percentage points.
Analysts expect the trend to continue with data from the US Energy Information Administration to be released tomorrow.

US rig counts up again...But can US domestic keep pace?
Oil was also buoyed this week as several key storage areas in the Caribbean are said to have dipped in inventories of crude oil, swallowing up some of the surplus along the US Gulf coast and Eastern seaboard.
The question that needs to be answered now is: Can US domestic drilling and oil output keep ahead, or pick up the pace against cuts made by OPEC? Or, do we see a steady, continued rise in oil prices if and when production meets the level of cuts agreed to in November?
The US rig count increased another 15 rigs last week and should keep rising if oil rises in price.

That's it for this week!

Regards,
George
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, March 30, 2017


Hi to all,

Here's what I have for this week's price changes:

*Heating/stove oil shows a drop of 1.2 cents a litre.
*Diesel shows a drop of 1/10th of a cent a litre, and...
*Gasoline shows an increase of 6/10ths of a cent a litre.

Libyan crude production drops
     Crude oil increased the last two days of the pricing session as Libyan crude production dropped almost 250,000 barrels a day because of disagreements between factions over control of two key oilfields.
     The Sharara and Wafa fields were part of the total source of oil that helped Libya pump out close to 750,000 barrels a day. The removal of the two fields drops total output down to a half million barrels a day, almost one million barrels less than the 1.5 million a day before the revolution started.

API data weighs
     Latest data from the American Petroleum Institute's inventory shows another modest build of 1.9 million barrels, while gasoline shows a "less than expected" draw of just 1.1 million barrels.
     While the EIA data is the chief number I watch, the data on gasoline is showing me that demand remains weak for gasoline.
     Chief number to watch tomorrow will be the refiner capacity number, which should give a better read on any growth in demand, as well as any detected growth in overall US domestic output.

Still watching the numbers!

Regards,

George
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, March 23, 2017


Hi to all,



Short and sweet, here's what I have for this week's price changes:



*Heating & stove oils show a drop of 4/10ths of a cent a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows a drop of 7/10ths of a cent a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows no change in price this week.



Market highlights



API report shows another inventory gain

     While not my source of inventory news that influences my way of thinking, new numbers from the American Petroleum Institute shows another increase in crude oil supply, this time by 4.5 million barrels a day

     Gasoline showed a drop in inventories of 4.9 million barrels, while distillate supplies dropped just over 800 thousand barrels.



Canadian dollar steady

     Up to three days ago, the dollar remained steady against the US greenback, but gained almost a penny against its US cousin in the latter half of the week.

     Oil, in the meantime, lost a dollar US this past pricing session.

     Brent was priced at $40.67 a barrel March 21st last year.



Upcoming provincial budget

     With oil prices close to $51 US a barrel Brent right now, it is obvious that the government will show some added revenue from oil royalties.

     It may be wishful thinking, but it may be time for the government to roll back the heavy increase that was levied onto gas taxes, if only just in part. While government may have thought it "prudent" to increase taxes, it became heavy-handed to levy an added 16.5 cents in added gasoline tax.

     Additional taxes resulted in an increased take as well from HST with the result being a twenty cent a litre hit at the pumps.

     We all could use the break!



That's it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, March 16, 2017


Hi to all,



Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes, baring in mind that winter blending mat throw off the distillate numbers slightly from the actual that may occur.



*Heating and stove oils show a drop of 3.1 cents a litre.

*Diesel shows a drop of 3 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of just 2/10ths of a cent a litre.



Market highlights



Focus off distillate turning to gasoline

     If you were a speculator in the distillate market, you didn’t make a pile of money, but you didn’t really lose either. Both ways you look at it, prices were moderate, even to some consumers.

     But it’s time to pull out now, and as you do, you turn to the gasoline markets where, hopefully, you’ll see a rise in demand as spring and early summer comes on.

     So, while consumers should start to see some expected drops in distillate prices here into the summer, those same consumers begin to see some support for gasoline: just part of the reason why no big drop in the gasoline markets this week.

     But don’t expect too much pressure yet, mind you!

     Until consumers see an uptick in demand, expect no immediate growth in gasoline prices this summer. With near-record inventories of gasoline out there this spring ahead of the switch-over from distillate to gasoline, there’s going to be reason for concern for refiners and Big Oil when refineries begin turning out more gasoline for consumption.

     What’s bad for them though, is not necessarily a bad thing for consumers...



OPEC blinks

     OPEC member Saudi Arabia reported today that they secretly increased production upwards from January adding another 260,000 barrels a day to production.

     The Saudi’s produced 10.1 million barrels a day, from 9.8 million barrels a day in January.

     Now, if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on one simple reason: That U.S shale has become a bigger influence on OPEC oil policy than anyone realised. My guess is that, adding a little oil to the markets is an attempt to “taper off” US growth in domestic oil and still allow them to survive.

     It’s a “warning”...

     What OPEC does in the next two months will be determined by what U.S domestic in the next two weeks with domestic production figures when they are released by the US Energy Information Administration.



     That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, March 9, 2017


Hi to all,



Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes:



*Heating and stove oil to drop by 6/10ths of a cent a litre.

*Diesel fuel to drop by 7/10ths of a cent, and...

*Gasoline to drop by 1.6 cents a litre.



Market highlights



API reports another huge crude inventory build

The American Petroleum Institute recorded yet another huge inventory build, with crude oil stocks growing another 11.6 million barrels to the domestic stockpile.

     Gasoline inventories were reported down in excess of five million barrels, while distillate stocks were also down by 2.9 million barrels.

      All eyes will be on the US Energy Information Administration’s report due to be released around noon Newfoundland time.



OPEC meeting in May

While it’s a long way away yet, it could be the key date that signifies whether OPEC’s member states will carry forth with production cuts, or whether they will answer to the massive growth in U.S domestic production. The US Energy Information Administration is already predicting that US domestic will hit 9.7 million by the end of fiscal 2018. The US has already added half of the total cuts made by OPEC since the end of November and could set itself up to meeting the 1.2 million gain in domestic production within the next four months if oil stays close to $55 US a barrel.

     Question to be answered in May then? Will US domestic production spark OPEC members into opening the floodgates to knock US production again, or does OPEC answer with more cuts?

      For now, it’s “wait and see”.



     That’s it from me this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, March 2, 2017

Hi to all,

Here's what I have for this week's price changes. Keep in mind winter blending that may throw off the numbers a little.

*Heating/stove oils show an added 7/10ths of a cent a litre....
*Diesel shows an increase of a penny a litre, and...
*Gasoline shows an increase of 8/10ths of a cent a litre.


Market highlights

US rig count continues upwards
      With the cuts instituted by OPEC and non-OPEC producers at the end of November 2016, along with it came the promise of small shale producers in the US and elsewhere getting back into the market.
      And get back they did, and at such a pace that OPEC countries may have to re-think cuts they made, either cutting deeper or starting another oil price war to finally knock down the competition.
      Last week, numbers for rigs getting back to work increased again, this time by five, while US domestic oil production hit 9 million barrels, an added 600,000 barrels of crude a day since the first week of October.
      Rigs increased by 145 additional units in the field since that same October.

Gasoline finally shows a draw
      US inventories of gasoline showed a modest drop in inventories last week with refiner capacity hitting a record low for the year of 84.4% of total US production.
      While refineries may be down for summer maintenance to refine more gasoline at the end of winter, it remains to be seen where gasoline prices could head when capacity picks up. Even though demand has remained below seasonal levels as compared to other years, if capacity picks up in the next couple of weeks before present inventories are drawn down, then we have the set-up for lower prices at the pumps.
      No demand means lower prices in the hope that consumption picks up.
      It's a ticklish situation refiners and Big Oil finds itself in.

That's it for this week!

Regards,
George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, February 23, 2017


Hi to all,



Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes:



*Heating and stove oils show a drop of 2/10ths of a cent a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows a drop of 4/10ths of a cent, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of 1.8 cents a litre.



Market highlights



Forget a collapse in oil. How about a collapse in gasoline?

   It may sound funny immediately before the spring run-up in gasoline prices that happens starting this time of the year, but data from the US Energy Information Administration seems to be pointing the way towards an extended drop in gasoline-that is, if demand doesn’t pick up soon.



   Data from the EIA indicates that US gasoline inventories are at their highest since the EIA first started recording gasoline inventory data back in 1990.



    Secondly, while gasoline production hangs around 9.5 to 10 million barrels a day, and with refinery capacity down to 85% due to refinery maintenance, even a drop in capacity to 9.3 million barrels a day still shows a build in inventories. Demand for January hung around 8.2 million barrels a day, itself a strange anomaly in a usually busy US economy, blowing up inventories in the US northeast to record levels.



     So, with those factors, with refineries shortly coming back into production, if demand doesn’t pick up in the interim to swallow up bulging inventories, then prices can’t be expected to climb appreciably heading into late spring and early summer.



     Inventory data is going to be the focus the next few weeks.



US rig count climbs again

     While US domestic production remained steady last week hovering close to 8.977 million barrels a day, the US rig count climbed again last week as more small producers got back into the markets. The rig count showed that another ten rigs went back to work last week with oil holding steady and OPEC compliance registering close to 90%.



     That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil





Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hi to all,

Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes. Keep in mind that heating oil as well as Diesel numbers may be off slightly due to winter blending.

*Heating and stove oils show a drop of 3/10ths of a cent a litre.
*Diesel shows an increase of 2/10ths of a cent a litre, and...
*Gasoline shows an increase of 1.6 cents a litre.

Market highlights

API reports another huge inventory build
     While some may have been expecting a drop in gasoline and oil prices this week, it was left to the imagination as to why prices didn’t fall with a huge inventory build last week.
     However, the American Petroleum Institute is again reporting a huge build in inventories ahead of the US Energy Information Administration’s report due tomorrow at noon, this time by 9.98 million barrels.
      Last week, in digging down through the evidence, it was found that while there was indeed an inventory build, it was mainly caused by the movement of oil in storage in the Houston shipping channel with that oil coming ashore, as well as a build in imports in the US northeast that caused the issues.
      Sad to say, I fear the markets are running out of excuses for the inevitable fall in oil that will occur with such inventories building as they are. Oil right now is on borrowed time, artificially held up with market excuses like “ a perceived” increase in demand.
      Demand may seem to be up when we see a draw-down in inventories of gasoline, but it’s a hard fact to stick by when you see capacity dropping at such a rate that itself affects inventories. Gasoline inventories from the industry-led group are also up. What will be the excuse next week?
      It’s kind of like buying a used car and not having the down payment. You don’t’ have to have a cent in your pockets, but the papers can be worked so you have it on paper to make the purchase. You still know you’re going to have to pay for it in the end.
      The oil markets may have to get ready for the shock.

US rig count up yet again
     While US domestic production creeps closer to nine million barrels a day, the US rig count is up yet again this week according to Baker-Hughes, this time up by another 12 rigs.
     US domestic oil production should hit the “magical”9 million barrel a day mark either later this week, or next week, that should have OPEC taking a keener eye as they lose a little more market share from US exports.

That’s it for this week!

Regards,

George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, February 9, 2017


Hi to all,



Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes. Keep in mind that winter blending may throw off the Heating/stove and Diesel numbers from the actual that may occur:



*Heating and stove oils show an increase of 9/10ths of a cent a litre.

*Diesel shows an increase of 1.1 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of 7/10ths of a cent a litre.



Market highlights



US shale having an impact

    Recent inventory reports seem to confirm what was predicted months ago, that the US shale and tight oil industries would be quick to respond to any cuts implemented by OPEC and some non-OPEC producing countries. With growing inventories, particularly the last three weeks, oil prices have seen more downwards pressure as inventories have continued to grow.

    Pressure is also coming off gasoline as demand has tailed off, leaving gasoline inventories with growth twice as much as what was expected.

    US rig counts also continue to climb as investors of small-time producers have entered back into the markets to fill the gap left by the November cuts.



API report shows a massive build in inventories

     The American Petroleum Institute, an industry related group released their weekly inventory report which should be quite alarming, if you’re an OPEC member.

     The group’s report showed a massive crude inventory increase of 14 million barrels this evening which should impact prices in electronic trading before the market open.

     Gasoline inventories also showed an increase of 2.9 million barrels, well more than double market expectations, that should impact spot prices for gasoline over the next week.

     A clearer picture of what is happening out there will be drawn from the US Energy Information Administration’s own inventory report which will be released around 12 noon NST.



That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, February 2, 2017


Good evening to all,



Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes:



*Heating and stove oils show a drop of 1.1 cents a litre.

*Diesel shows a drop of 9/10ths of a cent a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of 2.4 cents a litre.



Market highlights



US/Canadian oil continues to rebound

     As I predicted would happen some months back, the US oil industry continues to rebound to fill the gap left wide open by OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts.

     Again this week, US rigs have continued their return to the field with the addition of another 15 rigs back into production and exploration.

     Sources in Alberta also continue to show a good rebound starting within the oil industry there, especially moreso with the stability that oil has shown in recent weeks.



Inventories continue up for oil and gasoline

     Last week’s inventory report from the Energy Information Administration continues to show good builds in gasoline inventories, one of the chief reasons why gasoline prices will see their fourth drop in a row since their peak during Christmas/New Year’s travel demand.

     With refiner capacity again showing retreat, Gasoline inventories climbed by another 6.8 million barrels. That figure is pretty important when you consider the fact that refiners were throttling back on production.



That’s it for this week.



Regards to all.



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, January 26, 2017


Hi folks!

Better later than never, but here's what I have for this Thursday's price changes. Keep in mind that winter blending will throw off the Diesel and heating/stove oil numbers somewhat:

*Heating/stove oils show a drop of 4/10ths of a cent a litre....
*Diesel shows a drop of a cent a litre, and...
*Gasoline shows a drop of 1.8 cents a litre.


Market highlights

US inventories increase
      Last week's inventory read from the US Energy Information Administration saw a 2.3 million barrel increase in crude oil, but the real news to hit the markets was written in the gasoline inventory numbers.
      Gasoline inventories reported a growth of six million barrels last week, much higher than expected, but not a real surprise as it comes at the end of the Christmas travel season.
      What was evident in the report was a noticeable drop in the refiner capacity numbers which saw a three percentage point drop to just shy of 91 percent.
      While refineries throttled back, gasoline increased in inventory.
      The markets immediately responded with a drop that stayed relatively steady through the week to what we have for Thursday.


US rig count shows a sharp increase
      The weekly US drill rig count showed a huge increase last week that proves a lot of smaller producers are getting back in the game.
      The US rig count showed its' largest weekly increase since April, 2013 with the rig count jumping by 26 additional rigs in the field.
      Look for Western Canada to start getting busy again as production costs are slightly lower due to the dollar difference with the U.S.


      I'll leave it at that for this week!

Regards,

George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hi to all,

Here's what I have for this week's price changes. Keep in mind my margin for error of 3/10ths of a cent when you look at that heating/stove number!

*Heating and stove oil shows an added 2/10ths of a cent a litre.
*Diesel fuel shows a drop of a penny a litre, and...
*Gasoline shows a drop of 1.1 cents a litre.

Highlights

Majors moving to land
      In what is probably a sign of the times, large oil companies are beginning to make a move to shore where lower expenses to get into the oil game show more promise.
      A good example of this is a new acquisition of drilling rights by Exxon/Mobil who, with a few billion dollars more, have made a major expansion into the Permian basin in New Mexico.
Estimates are already in showing an estimated 3.4 billion barrels of reserves in the acquired property.

International Energy Agency and a possible flood of oil
       It took them long enough...
      The International Energy Agency is looking at a huge increase in US oil exports to begin just in the next few months that could be the spark to start another oil war for market share with OPEC.
      Because oil prices have hit a level where some profits can be made, the IEA is predicting that US domestic production will be quick in to fill the gap left by OPEC production cuts.

    Look for oil prices to stay "loopy" for the next little while in what could be the lead-up to another price war!

That's it for this week!

Regards,

George
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, January 12, 2017


Hi to all,



Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes, keeping in mind winter blending which may throw off the distillate numbers somewhat.



*Heating and stove oils show a drop of two cents a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows a drop of 2.7 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of 3.2 cents a litre.



Media release



Conception Bay South, NL, January 10,2017- “It may be the start of a decline in prices that, if market sentiment sticks around, could lead to steeper drops in price in the next few weeks.“ That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.



“Speculators for the last six weeks have played up oil prices with the fact that OPEC has stepped in and made substantial cuts to production, but the fact that they left a gaping hole for other producers to step into, may very well be coming back to bite them. As predicted would happen, smaller US domestic producers seem to be coming back into the market, and that is beginning to show in the U.S rig count and worldwide.



“It’s not just from the U.S that I am seeing a quick return to the markets. Worldwide, the rotary rig count increased last week by another 94 rigs, sparked by restarts in Canada and other centres where shale resources were previously being explored. World-wide, that amounts to 1772 rigs operating, with last week’s return of 94 rigs, the highest increase week-on-week that I have seen.



“Doubts about the ability of oil to maintain present pricing levels are permeating the markets, at least for the time-being, and that’s the basis for some relief for consumers this week. OPEC member compliance is also an important factor with both Libya and Iraq exports beginning to climb.



“The Canadian dollar also is a factor this week, rising in value against the U.S greenback in the face of falling oil-at least for the time-being. The Canuck Buck has gained almost three cents in the last two weeks as a result of a mostly positive Canadian jobs report last week. A rising Canadian dollar against the U.S greenback has the tendency to drop prices further.”

                                                                                                        -30-



For more information, contact:



George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, January 5, 2017


Hi to all,



Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes:

*Heating and stove oils show an added 1.4 cents a litre up.
*Diesel shows an added penny upwards, and...
*Gasoline shows an added 1.2 cents a litre at the pumps.

Highlights

US EIA inventory data still shows demand for gasoline
     US Energy Information data still showed demand for gasoline to remain up in the lead-up to the Christmas travel season, but this week began to taper somewhat. It may be as simple as investors not seeing demand continue in the weeks after the holidays and that may be the beginning of what hopefully will be a retreat in prices. Any building of inventories during winter on gasoline may be enough to lower prices in the coming weeks.
     The US EIA reported a drop of 1.6 million barrels. Inventories remain a rough 5 million barrels over the same timeframe last year.

Local word
     With snow-clearing becoming a prevalent issue on people’s minds, it remains a wonder why government has not taken some of the new gas tax money and re-invested back into 24 hour snow-clearing.
     Last year, government collected $193.98 million in gasoline taxes and it’s own estimates predict $312 million will be collected with the doubling down of the gas tax in year one.
     Government also said they would save a mere $1.9 million in getting rid of 24 hour snow-clearing.
     “As a matter of public safety first and foremost, why can’t government take the $1.9 million from the new gas tax money and retain proper snow-clearing for the people of the province? It’s obvious right now that their new program is not working, plain and simple”. That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.
      “Government must understand also that our highways are part of how we carry out commerce in this province, and if they aren’t useable, then we don’t generate needed revenue for business, and also for government.
       Basic services suffer.
        Not cleaning roads may in fact cost government more than just savings. It could cost jobs, let alone lives!”

Letter to the Public Utilities Board: Transportation study needed for Labrador market
     I will be writing the Public Utilities Board in the next couple of days to ask that the Board review transportation costs of fuel, particularly to coastal Labrador.
     The reason is simple really...
     Before Christmas we all saw that Coastal Shipping, a branch of the Woodward Group lay off a hundred Newfoundland and Labrador personnel in favour of cheaper labour aboard five of their ships.
    “If labour is a major cost to them of doing business that has been claimed as an allowable expense in the transport of fuels and mark-ups to consumers as a result, then prices for the transport of fuels to Newfoundland ports of call, but  particularly to coastal Labrador must come down as a result of paying out lower wages. Just because you fly a ‘flag of convenience’ does not mean consumers should pay. If tanker costs are coming down for the company, fuel costs have to come down for the consumer.”

That’s it for this first year’s edition!

Regards,

George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil