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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, December 14, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating and stove oils show no change in prices this week.

*Diesel fuel shows an increase of a half penny (5/10ths) a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of a half penny a litre.



Market highlights



U.S domestic output continues to grow

U.S inventory reports from the Energy Information Administration show that U.S domestic oil output has again showed an increase by another 25,000 barrels a day, putting domestic output at 9.707 million barrels a day.

            But domestic output has been lagging a little in spite of it’s own growth. While steady upwards, it hasn’t been robust. Some speculate that there’s a need for junior producers to steady their finances before the drill-bits go in the ground. But the real reason my be a booming U.S economy.

           While the economy has been busy the last few years, oil prices collapsed throwing many out of the oil patch and into other areas of the transportation sector. Simple fact may be that people aren’t as quick to enter into a sector of the economy that may collapse again and that could be the issue.



U.S inventories report

U.S crude inventories were down in the same report, showing crude down by 5.6 million barrels with refiner capacity up to 93.8 percentage points.

            U.S gasoline inventories were up by 6.8 million barrels, while distillate inventories climbed by 1.7 million barrels.

            Gasoline prices hardly moved over the reporting period with gas inventories offsetting crude oil losses.



That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, December 7th, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating and stove oils both show no changes.

*Diesel fuel shows a drop of a half penny, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of 1.5 cents a litre.



Market highlights



OPEC and non-OPEC producers extend production cuts

Meetings of OPEC and non-OPEC members on Thursday past were deemed to be successful by the group as both sides saw an extension of a cuts agreement extended until the end of 2018 from March of 2018.

     Non-OPEC members were also in agreement as the cuts both groups Implimented were seen to be a successful measure in chewing into a world over-supply of oil.

     Non-OPEC members agreed to add 600,000 barrels a day in cuts to add to OPEC’s 1.2 million barrels a day brought in November of 2016.



Markets wait and see

While OPEC and non-OPEC members were successful in reaching an agreement on cuts, market traders were left to wonder at how much U.S domestic output will respond to fill the gaps in output left by the cuts.

     While U.S domestic output is seeing constant growth, so far it has been sporadic as financial issues around any possible collapse has some showing some caution as they get drill-bits into the ground.

      Other cite the simple problem of getting people back into the oil workforce after the market collapse of 2014 drove many to other sectors of a booming U.S economy.

       Oil prices have remained close to $63 US for Brent for the last few days since the meetings.



That’s it for this week!



Regards,


George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Price changes for Friday, December 1st, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating/stove oils show an increase of just 3/10ths of a cent a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows no changes, and...

*Gasoline shows a net drop of 4.3 cents a litre. While markets traded up by 7/10ths of a cent this week, government is dropping another portion of the gas tax it added last year. The 4.3 a litre down accounts for that.



Market highlights



Markets steady as they wait for OPEC and Russia movement

Oil prices remained relatively stagnant over the past week as observers keep a close eye on what OPEC will do after this week’s meetings.

     Markets are stepping lightly as OPEC strives to come to a decision on possible further cuts and further participation by Russia and Azerbaijan in an extension to production cuts by non-OPEC producers.

     What is interesting to see, or hear, in all this is how muted that conversation has become about Russia’s further participation in the possibility of extending those cuts past next March 2018. They haven’t come out directly and said they are willing to extend them.

      Russia itself has that possibility of losing some market share to growing U.S domestic production that has hit new heights to the point that the U.S has also started to export into the world market, replacing lost production from OPEC and non-OPEC producers.



U.S domestic production continues growth

U.S domestic production has continued to outpace even Energy Information Administration estimates as a record 9.652 million barrels a day came out of shale areas south of the border over the last week. With oil still supported at $63 US for Brent and $58 US West Texas Intermediate, some small producers are getting back in.

     While growth is at a record, some slowing has occurred as producers are being overly cautious in getting back in until they have their fiscal end of things tightened up.      And while drill-bits are getting back in the ground, some are saying that with a booming U.S economy, other areas of the economy are taking up valuable people resources before the oil industry can get to them. Once bitten by a recent industry collapse, some aren’t so eager as the company themselves to get back in.



     That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, November 16, 2017


Hi to all,



Here’s what I have for price changes for Thursday:



*Heating and stove oil to increase by 1.3 cents a litre.

*Diesel fuel to increase by 1.2 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline to decrease by 1.2 cents a litre.



From the markets



OPEC rethinks demand forecast

OPEC is rethinking it’s forecast for world oil demand and states in it’s release a factor one would have suspected would make a worldwide impact before now: the electric vehicle.

     In it’s demand forecast, OPEC states a lower than expected oil demand because of the electric vehicle and other outside oil producers.

     Today also saw a report from the International Energy Agency that seemed to confirm OPEC’s report that also calls for lower than expected world oil demand.

     The news today sent crude lower from it’s November 6th peak at $64 US a barrel to today’s close around $61 US.



Traders begin to worry over U.S domestic output

Traders are also beginning to worry over the effect of slightly higher oil prices and what that will do to stall the recent rise in oil prices.

     It’s generally seen that with OPEC cuts to production and their initial effect on the price, that there would be some sort of response as U.S small shale producers headed back to the oil patch. Last week’s inventory report from the U.S Energy Information Administration saw a huge build in production with an added 67,000 barrels of oil added on to a record 9.62 million barrel a day output.

     News today also saw a drop in Saudi Arabian imports into North America with the development of “closer” domestic sources.



Futures prices tell a tale

With the province getting some added revenue from higher oil, I saw fit to have a look at what traders are thinking for the future with some of the contracts that are out there.

     For the final quarter of this year, expect $61 US and change as markets rebalance.

     Fiscal 2018 looks the same with oil (Brent) averaging $61 US, but this starts to drop back towards $58 US through to fiscal 2019.



That’s it for me this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, November 9th, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating/stove oil to increase by 1.7 cents a litre.

*Diesel fuel to increase by 7/10ths of a cent per litre, and...

*Gasoline shows an increase of 2.2 cents a litre.



Saudi Arabia rules the oil news

A heir-apparent has taken the focus in the news this week as Mohammed Bin Salman, the next ruler of Saudi Arabia, had his security forces out on Sunday making mass arrests and detentions of any potential rivals to his throne.

     Oil has risen almost $3 US to hit $64 US for Brent crude since news broke of the mass arrests.

      While not seen as an immediate threat to Saudi Arabian governance, it has been seen as clear evidence that there is considerable unrest in the lead OPEC oil producing nation.

      Riding the tails of a revival in crude prices is a projected increase to US shale output in the coming months as U.S producers capitalize on rising oil prices, but they could be running into a problem...



If shale output can’t keep up...



According to a story through CNBC, U.S shale output may be experiencing a  problem caused by the last collapse in oil prices.

     The problem is simple: they can’t get the drill-bits into the ground fast enough.

     Drillers are simply not willing to take so much financial risk without putting their businesses in order to survive a downturn again. The story from Morgan Stanley also says that U.S production won’t be able to step in and fill the drop in production of 1.8 million barrels a day in production that OPEC is thinking about extending past the March 2018 deadline.

         

There could be hope here...

With the rising price of oil and slower prospects in the U.S, is there hope then for pooled resources such as we have here offshore?

     Pooled resources tend to be longer lasting and with less financial risk involved with field longevity.

     If oil is supported in price by slowing U.S shale output, it stands to reason major explorers will step back into long term projects. Outside of other countries trying to develop shale resources, there’s better hope we can deliver from our own offshore.



     Fingers crossed...



That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, November 2, 2017


Hi to all,



No trick...and definitely no treat, here are the expected price changes for this Thursday, November 2, 2017:



*Heating and stove oil to increase by 3.4 cents a litre.

*Diesel shows an added 3.8 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows an added 4.6 cents a litre at the pumps.



Market highlights



OPEC cuts telling?

OPEC and non-OPEC members have agreed to extend output cuts made in November 2016 well past the March 2018 end of the initial agreement.

    OPEC member Saudi Arabia first introduced cuts but were then joined by non-OPEC members Russia and Azerbaijan to total 1.8 million barrels a day in cuts which have been seen to reduce the world oversupply of crude oil. Prices have been rising in recent weeks on the news to hit $61 US as of today.



Gasoline inventories hit

Gasoline inventories took a hit in last week’s EIA inventory report with the fuel dropping 5.5 million barrels in inventory.

    What made the number even more significant was the fact that refiner capacity was recorded at 87.8 per cent. While capacity on average hits the low 90’s, the missing capacity wasn’t seen as enough to build demand. Could be a good sign of an increase in demand.

     U.S spot price for gasoline has increased five cents a US gallon since the last pricing session ended.



Canadian dollar lower

While the price of oil has risen in recent weeks, the Canadian dollar has lost ground against the US dollar, dropping almost four cents against its US counterpart since October 19th. Almost every cent increase at the pumps equals every 3/4 cent lost against the US Greenback.



That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, October 19, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating and stove oil to increase by 1.5 cents a litre.

*Diesel fuel to increase by 1.3 cents a lire, and...

*Gasoline shows an increase of 1.2 cents a litre.



           Geo-political risks have taken the front seat in the markets this week as Donald Trump’s sabre-rattling over the Iran nuclear deal continues to weigh in the markets. While groups such as the European Union say the deal is being adhered to by Iran, Trump wants a stronger deal than is present in the July, 2015 agreement signed in part by the Obama administration.

          One wonders what Trump’s plan is, but instability seems to be a part of his agenda as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is said to be adhered to according to groups like the International Atomic Energy Agency and even the U.S State Department!                 

          Add to that the disruption of exports from Ceyhan, Turkey of oil from the Kirkuk region of Iraq as Kurdish fighters and the Iraqi army tussle over the region rich in oil fields. The fighting has led to an increase in the value of Brent crude and the removal of close to 600,000 barrels a day in exports from the Turkish port city.

          What will be interesting to watch in the coming days and weeks will be the response from U.S domestic production as oil prices see some height above the $50 US per barrel mark.



           That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, October 12, 2017


Hi to all,



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



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

*Diesel shows a drop of 1.4 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of just 6/10ths of a cent a litre.



Market highlights



Gasoline inventories climb again

As the markets and consumers recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey, it’s also worth noting that refineries still haven’t come back to previous capacity levels before the hurricane hit the major Texas and area refining region.

   Generally believed is the fact that some refiners have used the downtime to do maintenance before the winter season hits. It’s just happening a little earlier than normal.

    With capacity still hanging around 88 per cent, capacity was recorded around 93 percent before Harvey hit. If the remaining difference in capacity comes on-line, then the added inventory could help to drop prices and possibly steady the distillate price, which has also been rising again as of late.



OPEC talks with Russia

OPEC member Saudi Arabia and Russia have both been in discussions the last few days and extending agreed-upon cuts are on the agenda.

     OPEC members along with Russia and Azerbaijan, agreed to make almost 1.8 million barrels a day in production cuts to help cut into the world’s excess of crude oil.

     According to them, the cuts are finally beginning to take hold and oil has been seeing a little bit of a boost as of late.

     It remains to be seen how long the cuts will last as previous reports have shown some OPEC members producing a little more than what was initially agreed to and U.S domestic production as well as U.S exports both continue to increase.

     As a side-note, for the third week in a row, Brent crude has been averaging anywhere between $55 and $58 US a barrel.



That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Price changes for thursday, October 5th, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating, stove oil and Diesel fuel all show a drop of 3/10ths of a cent a litre.

*Gasoline shows a drop of 2.5 cents a litre.



Consumers to get another break at the pumps



“Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia can expect to see a break at the pumps again this week when their various regulatory authorities adjust prices”. That’s according to George Murphy of the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.



Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as New Brunswick both set their prices as of Wednesday at midnight, while Nova Scotia adjusts prices Thursday midnight.



“In the wake of Harvey, we’re starting to see refiner capacity climb while gasoline inventories also rise. Gasoline inventories increased last week with refinery capacity still below what it was “pre-Harvey”, Murphy said. “With capacity still not back to those levels, it is reasonable to assume that the markets will be looking at two important factors in the equation, the first being no panic buying ahead of the storms which immediately takes pressure off gasoline, and two, the fact that we’re looking at gasoline being produced in excess while capacity is low. Almost seven per cent lower than before Harvey landed.



“I’ll be watching tomorrow’s inventory data to see if the trend looks to be continuing falling prices as refiners are also into the switch from refining gasoline to the refinement of distillates and winter gasoline blends as the weather cools. Gasoline shows a strong sign of weakening demand here, so hopefully, prices will drop further in the favour of the consumer”.



-30-



For more information, contact;



George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil






Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, September 28, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating and stove oils show an increase of 1.3 cents a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows an increase of 2.2 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows no changes at the pumps this week.



Market highlights

Gasoline remained relatively steady even as refined gasoline showed gains in U.S dollar terms, there was enough gain by the Canadian dollar these past two weeks to absorb any increase this week to prices.

    However, a sharp rise in gasoline prices today on the New York exchange does lead me to believe that numbers will be up slightly, all contingent on U.S inventory data that is due out tomorrow.

    Right now, gasoline shows up for next week by 1.7 cents. Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s release!



Crude oil turns higher

Crude oil prices were supported this week on two main stories, the first centering around the possible disruption of exports from Ceyhan, Turkey as infighting continues around Iraq’s major northwest oil fields control. That leaves a struggle between Kurdish and Iraqi forces for control of the northwestern located oil fields immediately ahead of a referendum seeking Kurdish independence. Turkey is threatening to close the pipeline if the vote goes ahead.



Word from OPEC also this week that saw some support for oil as they claim that OPEC-led cuts last year are beginning to bite into world supply. OPEC claims that cuts are dropping ahead of some uptick in demand from countries like China.



That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, September 21, 2017


Hi to all,



Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes for Newfoundland and Labrador as well as New Brunswick:



*Heating/stove oils show an increase of one cent a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows an increase of 8/10ths of a cent a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of 6.2 cents a litre.



As predicted a few weeks back in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, I estimated at the time that it would take about two to three weeks before we see the markets come back into some form of normalcy. With the expected decrease, it looks like the recovery is complete with the exception of a penny in the difference between prices before and after Harvey’s market impact.



I’ll be watching the latest in U.S inventory reports due to be released tomorrow around noon Newfoundland time as these numbers will be a good indicator for refinery capacity increases along with gasoline inventories. While there was a considerable draw in gasoline inventories last week, I’m expecting still to see a draw from the side-effects from Hurricane Irma, which only partly affected U.S inventories from last week.



Either way, the recovery is just about complete, and if today’s market is any indication, there is a penny down showing for gasoline ahead of next week!



That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, September 12, 2017


Hi to all,



Here’s what I have for this week’s price changes, along with a hint on what’s to come next week:



*Heating/stove oil to drop by 8/10ths of a cent a litre.

*Diesel fuel to drop by 1.1 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline to drop by 7.2 cents a litre.



Hurricane Harvey’s effects on the market are beginning to settle down and we’re getting a good read on the return of refining capacity in the Gulf of Mexico.



As of this morning, only six percent of capacity remains offline due to longer than anticipated re-start.



Tomorrow’s inventory data may show exactly what happened to gasoline supplies as regards to both Harvey and Irma as gasoline saw a “panic buy” spree ahead of the storms. While last week’s draw-down of inventory saw short of four million barrels down, the fact that refinery capacity country-wide in the U.S was only at 79.9 percent.



With capacity showing a huge drop, gasoline should have been down substantially in inventory, but it wasn’t. That’s probably part reason why the markets in New York saw an increase of just 13 cents a litre converted to Canadian values.



A picture is already being formed on what we can expect next week. So far, spot prices for gasoline are down a rough five cents a litre in the first day of the seven day session, so I’m advising consumers to continue to conserve to ride out the tail end of this extraordinary event on the markets.



I’m guessing that we will most likely be back to where prices were before last week’s massive increase at the pumps...as predicted.



Regards,



For more information, contact:



George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Gasoline still dropping in Harvey's aftermath

Hi to all,

Just a quick update on what I'm seeing in the markets since yesterday's rattle at the pumps.

Just crunched the data so far and the downward trend has started, albeit I'm keeping an eye to Hurricane Irma's impact. Right now, there is panic buying ahead of the storm's landfall in Florida in the next day or so. It hasn't impacted the gas markets yet, but that is a possibility that may not get picked up until the next release of inventory data on Wednesday from the U.S Energy Information Administration.

So far, gasoline shows a drop of 4.5 cents a litre at the pumps, but like I say, that's just two days data. You need all seven days data to call the final shot on what we can expect, but there is enough downward movement to say that I believe the numbers will be down as predicted.

In the meantime, in the coming days, I will pen my thoughts here on what I feel our country really needs to do to protect us all from spikes like this, so, stay tuned.

Stay in touch, and I will too!

Regards,

George
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil 

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, September 7, 2017


Hi to all,

Sorry for not keeping everyone up to date as I wished last week, and thanks to those who sent their condolences or visited us at the untimely passing of my Mother. I will remember your kindness a long time!



All the data is now in for this week and is still pretty close to what I initially had yesterday. Here’s the new projections for this week:



*Heating and stove oils show an increase of 4.2 cents a litre.

*Diesel shows an added 4.5 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows an added 14.1 cents a litre.



A couple of things here.



First off, gasoline is starting to show a retreat as of today. The markets show for day one of the next pricing session gas dropping by 2.5 cents a litre, but there’s still six days to go, so I fully expect to see further drops as refineries start to re-enter production from Hurricane Harvey’s after-effects.



Secondly, all this is a repeat of what happened during the Katrina and Rita events of 2005. The failure of government to ensure the security of supply to the Canadian economy in ensuring adequate inventory keeping of refined product that meets our needs in an emergency, along with a moratorium on refinery closures are two important aspects. The third thing the government of Canada needs to do is re-visit the Competition Act to ensure companies cannot share supply between each other that has cost in refinery capacity, let alone jobs.



Lastly, while other centres like Ottawa increased in prices by 31 cents a litre and Toronto by 23 cents in a competitive market, the government needs to remind companies that we have the Emergencies Act that I think can be used to ensure consumers do not get gouged at a time that consumers would deem to be a crisis, in this case where prices went far out of line from what was the actual.



We cannot avoid the actualities of the markets, but fortunately I think, we have a mechanism in place to protect consumers somewhat when that emergency comes about.



That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Update #1


Update #1

Hi to all,

Just an update on Hurricane Harvey and the effect it could have on gasoline and heating oil prices this week!

No doubt, you have all heard of the devastation being wrought in Texas at this hour and it's important to keep all those going through this storm on your mind tonight and for the next few days.

I am watching the markets at the moment to see how this storm will play out.

So far, as of Friday, gasoline prices are up about two cents a litre for Thursday, but markets are trading upwards another ten cents a US gallon at this hour with the potential for refinery disruptions being very strong. Electricity is out in a lot of the major refining areas of Texas at this hour and it is expected that a lot of refineries will be put out of commission for a few days while the waters recede.

Both oil imports and exports through the major Texas shipping channels are shut down. Several refineries are also offline.

While the storm made landfall several hundred miles from where Katrina and Rita made landfall in 2005, that doesn't discount the fact that upwards of five million barrels of processing in the Gulf of Mexico area may be taken out simply by the huge amount of water.

I don’t expect markets to be trading too heavy this time around as this hurricane has landed further west in the Gulf of Mexico, but the storm is also subject to swing around and land again closer to the Louisiana coast and eastern Texas which would put it closer to more refinery infrastructure that was affected during Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Gasoline will be taking a hit this week. It just remains to be seen, especially after Monday and Tuesday trading, exactly how much. I'll keep everyone up to date on the numbers as the days go by, but it's easy to say here to expect increases across the board to all fuels this week.

Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter@GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, August 24, 2017


Hi to all,



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



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

*Diesel shows a drop of 1.9 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of 6/10ths of a cent a litre.



Gasoline, Distillate fuels continue lower



“We may be starting to formulate a picture for heating oil prices for this winter as the focus comes off gasoline prices from this past summer, and consumers hopefully will see those benefits if the down trend continues”. That news from George Murphy, oil analyst with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.



Gasoline and distillate prices again continued to drop as lower oil and refined product prices showed a retreat after Libyan crude again was set for export. A shutdown of Libyan exports on Thursday helped to increase Brent prices, but turned lower as agreement was said to re-open ports on Monday.



“It wasn’t so much as a surprise to see Libyan exports shut in once again, but there was an obvious peaceful resolution put in place that played into the markets over a very quick period”. Murphy said. “Again, prices started to show a downwards retreat especially for refined distillates.



“It’s the right time of year to show a drop in distillates leading into the fall and winter heating seasons as this is a traditional time of year we see that run-up in prices ahead of the demand season. To see a drop this time of year may reflect what speculators may be thinking: that there’s not a lot to be gained in the markets for distillates again this year. While spot prices are still ten cents a litre higher that what they were for the same timeframe last year, a downward trend may be signalling further drops to come in prices”.



-30-

For more information, contact;



George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, August 10, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating/stove oils will increase by 7/10ths of a  cent a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows an increase of 9/10ths of a cent a litre.

*Gasoline shows an increase of 1.2 cents a litre



Continued demand increase adds up to an increase in gasoline prices



If there was any hope for speculators to make a dollar in the gasoline markets, that time is quickly slipping away with the end of summer. This week’s increase in prices may be the last week for that as prices are set to increase to consumers by just over a penny. That’s according to George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.



“Last week showed just the second week in a row this summer where demand was shown to be increasing during the summer months. It been remarkable to see demand during the summer as low as what it has been in a year where the US economy has been booming.” Murphy said. ”Speculators are enjoying a ‘last gasp’ as the summer driving season comes to a close”.



-30-



For more information, contact:



George Murphy

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, August 3rd, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating/stove oils show an increase of 3.1 cents a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows an increase of 3.6 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows an increase of 1.7 cents a litre*.

                                       *Gasoline showed considerable volatility over the weekend and did not appear in the numbers until Monday. I believe gasoline may see a larger increase than what is shown here.



Time to drop the tax on heating again?



“If consumers are starting to feel the pinch of rising prices again, it should be no surprise. Government should bring some relief in taxes collected on heat again”. That’s according to George Murphy, energy watchdog.



“It seems that everyone and everything dealing with energy to consumers are looking for a piece of our pockets again, both on the electricity front and on the petroleum products end of things. While others have applied for electricity price increases, spot prices for distillates like heating and stove oils are starting to rise as speculators try and make a buck off the backs of consumers after a failed season of gasoline profit-taking.



“We’re again facing upwards pricing pressure from all sides,  Murphy said. “And that pressure is being widely felt by everyone as we get closer to fall and winter. Already, I am hearing from those who can’t afford to pay any more in taxes on rising commodity prices and that’s a warning sign to government that we will need further relief for those who can’t afford to keep warm this winter. Consumer’s pockets are simply empty from mounting debt.



“It’s time that the government meet everyone’s needs and drop the tax on necessities like heat, which is an ongoing health concern for most”.



-30-



For more information, contact:



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

No major changes with all the market confusion out there...


Hi to all,



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



*Heating and stove oils show no change in price.

*Diesel fuel shows an increase of just 4/10ths of a cent a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows an increase of 3/10ths of a cent.



Gasoline price to remain relatively stable this week



“Gasoline prices will remain relatively steady this week with numbers showing just a 3/10ths of a cent a litre increase in the regulated maximum price at the pumps”. That news from George Murphy, consumer advocate and energy market-watcher. “The numbers are falling into my margin for error here, so there may be nothing serious happening this week that will cost us anything significant.”



While markets are in turmoil, nobody seems to have a handle on what constitutes market-changing news anymore, so, at least to me, no one is willing to take the risks in the energy markets until there’s some more stability.” Murphy said.



“OPEC members met again this past week, but in a surprise series of moves and who you talk to, everyone is on the same page when it comes to cuts, then everyone is not on the same page. While Nigeria, for example, have agreed to a production cut that limits them to a daily production of 1.8 million barrels a day, they are only pumping at 1.6 million barrels. Then there’s Iraq. While they’ve agreed to limit production under the agreed production cut arrangement, they’ve come out today announcing they will hit five million barrels a day by the end of this year. Presently, they produce almost 4.5 million barrels a day”.



Confusing as it sounds, the news is reflecting a market reality to consumers that no one knows which way prices should head under these conditions, and while demand may be up, the prospects for oil breaking into newer highs for the year seem distant.



“Then we have news from the US that shows that the US may set a new production record of ten million barrels a day domestic production by the end of this year that would bring more oil into the markets. That’s telling me that regardless of the news out of OPEC, there’s a bigger player out there that simply didn’t have the influence it now has ten years ago, and consumers will benefit from the confusion for the time-being”.



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For more information, contact:



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, July 20, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating/stove oils show an increase of a half penny a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows an increase of 8/10ths of a cent a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows an increase of a penny at the pumps.



Strength of a demand increase reflected at the pumps this week



“Consumers will again see an up-tick in prices at the pumps this week but, as in previous weeks, it’s not going to be a shocker as gasoline prices are only expected to rise a penny a litre”. That’s from George Murphy, oil researcher.



“Modest increases in demand for gasoline have been observed over the past few weeks, and while not a threat to current prices at the pump ,any up-tick further in demand may help to increase prices again exponentially. I’m still trying to find why demand has not reached the same numbers it has last year, and that’s being reflected in the price we’re paying. You see a slight increase in demand and the price goes up, but so also does the Canadian dollar saving us a few pennies.



“If anything, I’m noticing an early entry by some into the distillate markets, which is also a strong signal that the summertime gasoline market is pretty much a write-off. With September buying contracts already out, it’s a safe bet to say that summer prices will pretty much stay around the same level we’re all looking at now”.



-30-



For more information, contact:



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hi to all,

Short and sweet this week as I'm heading straight to the fire-pit!

Consider it my summer vacation three hours at a time...lol

But, before I do, I'll leave you with the week's price changes and a few tidbits from the markets. Here's what I have:

*Heating, stove oil and Diesel all show a drop of 1.1 cents a litre.
*Gasoline shows no changes this week.

So, here's one market highlight I will leave you as the kids are calling...I'll comment on it next week, but it may be apparent what might be about to transpire. I'm thinking all OPEC members will start in too...

Surprise, surprise, but OPEC's leading producer and leader when it came to leading other members into the November 2016 production cut scheme to bolster oil prices, has been nailed with the news that it broke ranks with its fellow members by over-producing on it's own imposed production quota!

Note the party balloons and cake...

There was no surprise here as Saudi Arabia, the leader of the pack in the cuts department, simply couldn't resist the fact that on occasion, things like this will happen. The Saudi's produced 10.07 million barrels a day last month, about 200 thousand more than its quota.

Now, with Libya and Nigerian production also on the rebound, ask yourself how long it will be before the other members of OPEC also break ranks...

Have a good week!

Regards,

George
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Monday, July 03, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, July 6, 2017


Hi to all,

Here’s what I have for this Thursday’s price changes, and all a little early as a result of markets being closed tomorrow as a result of the U.S Independence Day holiday:

*Heating and stove oil show an increase of 2.7 cents a litre.
*Diesel fuel shows an added 3.1 cents a litre, and...
*Gasoline shows an added 2.7 cents a litre at the pumps.

Consumers to see an increase at the pumps for the first time in weeks

The numbers are in early as a result of the US markets being closed tomorrow as a result of the U.S Independence Day holiday, but even the holiday south of the border isn’t going to go the trend of the last few weeks with price drops.

On the contrary...

“It’s almost strange to see it after the last couple of weeks drops at the pumps, but consumers will see an increase at the pumps this week as gasoline demand starts to match refinery output”. That news from George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices. “Last week saw a very slight draw on gasoline inventories immediately ahead of the U.S holiday, and along with rising oil, refined commodity prices also increased.”

“There are signs of support for oil prices out there as both the U.S rig count was down for the first time in twenty four weeks, and signs from the U.S Energy Information Administration that domestic output last week dropped 100,000 barrels a day, a sharp drop that comes as a sign that small producers in the shale fields may be more susceptible to lower prices than what was first thought. This may have led to ‘second thoughts’ to further investment in these projects, and that’s where we started to see a contraction in oil output. Some speculators placed a ‘break even’ point at $35 U.S, but investors started pulling out well before $45 US, showing a weak bottom remains for shale resources and that the ‘break even ‘ point is much higher. Long term projects have a distinct advantage against smaller projects.

“In spite of the news from OPEC member Libya of rising production and exports from the war-torn country’s return to the markets, oil prices still saw some support as a result of smaller shale simply not going to be able to attract the investment because of high risk and low oil prices. It seems that OPEC cuts may read in the markets again until oil rises to the point where small shale production can attract investment again. The market pendulum has again swung in favour of OPEC and other non-OPEC producers in it for the long term.

“On average, Brent and WTI have increased the past week by $3 US a barrel with refined commodities showing strength based on the increase to oil prices. It was only ‘natural’ to see gasoline demand start to rise before the holiday in the U.S and we can only hope that we can see the trend of low prices return for the rest of the summer”.

-30-

For more information, contact:

George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, June 29, 2017


Hi 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 fuel shows a drop of 1.5 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows no change this week.



Markets steady. Waiting for Wednesday inventory data



“Consumers will not see any change to gasoline prices this week as the markets await inventory data from the U.S Energy Information Administration for any sign of rising or falling demand”. That word comes from George Murphy, group researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices. ”However, being the non-demand season for distillates like heating, stove oil and diesel, we’ll see some further retreat in prices”.



“The markets are searching for any reason for optimism amongst signs that demand still hasn’t shown any appreciable growth in demand for gasoline, and that sentiment continues as some are expressing ongoing concerns over the world glut of oil. There’s lots to go around.



“In what must be a surprise to most, the US EIA has reported three weeks of gasoline inventory building in the middle of the demand season for that fuel, and smack in one of the world’s most bustling economies, and with the final mystery of why demand hasn’t risen its head this summer season. At least not yet.



“Even the American Petroleum Institute earlier this evening found another build in both crude and gasoline inventories which could spell trouble for speculators in the gasoline markets for the rest of the summer. With demand faultering and a forty five day delivery time from oil patch to the consumer, time is fast running out for them. July is coming and it’s ‘mid-August’ on the buying markets in what could be a wrote-off season.



“Looks like what you see is what you’ll get for the rest of the summer season, barring any unforeseen or geo-political changes. It could be a much cheaper summer traveling season than what we’ve been used to”.



-30-



For more information, contact;



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, June 22, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating and stove oils to drop a penny.

*Diesel fuel to drop by 1.3 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline to drop three cents a litre.



Oil and refined prices continue lower. Consumers to benefit



“Oil prices and refined commodity prices continue their retreat and consumers again will see the benefit”. That’s according to George Murphy, researcher with the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.



“ The US Energy Information Administration’s weekly data last week showed a continued build in gasoline inventories that still shows refiners are producing more than what was needed in the face of expected demand that simply isn’t there---yet”, Murphy said.



“But we’re possibly coming to an end as small producers start to look at their break-even points as oil prices sink lower, so this next few weeks are going to be a huge test for everyone in the oil business. While further drops in prices are possible, they may be piece-meal compared to the last few weeks drops we’ve become accustomed to”.



News from OPEC also shows more oil than was expected coming out of Libya with that country producing more than 900 thousand barrels a day, rather than the expected 300 thousand a day in the previous month. While that may seem for some to be a small number, it throws a wrench into OPEC’s self-imposed cut of 1.2 million barrel a day that excluded both Libya and Nigeria due to damaged infrastructure from civil unrest.



“While ‘under a dollar’ a litre is still possible, we’d already be there except for the fact that there is still almost 9.8 cents a litre in extra taxes that we’re dealing with versus the same timeframe when we saw gas under a buck a litre”.



-30-



For more information, contact:



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, June 15, 2017


Hi to all,

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

          *Heating and stove oils to drop by 2.5 cents a litre.
          *Diesel fuel to drop by 2.6 cents a litre, and...
          *Gasoline to drop by FOUR cents a litre.

Market highlights

OPEC breaks its own production freeze
The fact that Libya and Nigeria were exempted from the OPEC cuts agreement and it's extension a month ago was telling on what was thought to be two countries in a rough position as far as stability goes, and they are. However, both Libya and Nigerian production has suddenly come back, rather unexpectedly to OPEC I may add, to throw further doubt into the world oil glut situation.
     Both Libya and Nigeria combined to push overall OPEC production up by another 330,000 barrels a day during May month.
     That has helped to moderate prices over the last week, and acquisition costs of oil have come down as well to reflect the benefits to consumers.

Gasoline demand weaker than usual?
Gasoline inventories, according to the US Energy Information last week, climbed instead of falling during one of the driving season's busiest times for speculators.
     Weaker refinery capacity also showed the markets that with refinery production dropping, refiners were still able to add gasoline to the overall inventory, casting further doubt on what demand there will be for product heading into the depths of summer.
     As previously forecast here, there's still some pressure to the downside for gasoline, but I'm keeping an eye to the refiner capacity number to see if refiners throttle back on output in a move to support prices for the next little while.
     Already a sign that there may be trouble for the speculator out there if that indeed happens!

That's it for this week!

Regards,

George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, June 8th, 2017


Hi to all,

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

*Heating and stove oils show a drop of 2.8 cents a litre.
*Diesel fuel shows a drop of 3.5 cents a litre, and...
*Gasoline shows a drop of 2.1 cents a litre.

                                                                     
Market highlights

Oil stays steady in spite of Qatar situation
While some may have expected oil prices to take a sharp rise over recent tensions between Qatar and other Middle East neighbours, it seems some analysts have stepped back from the fray and are calling "business as usual" in the region.
     Fellow OPEC member states like Saudi Arabia have cut some ties with their neighbour over concerns that Qatar has been funding some fundamentalist organizations, like the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda.
     Whether proven or not, speculators think that it's back to the usual when it comes to the oil business as others see it as a simple difference between Sunni and Shiite.

API reports gasoline inventories up
The American Petroleum Institute is reporting a huge increase in gasoline inventories this week.
     According to the industry-led organization, gasoline inventories unexpectedly increased by just over four million barrels, while distillate also showed an increase of close on 1.8 million barrels.
     Oil inventories were down by 4.6 million barrels.
     The US Energy Information Administration releases its inventory data tomorrow noon Newfoundland time.

That's it for this week!

Regards,

George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil