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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”.



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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”.



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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”.



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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”.



-30-



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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, June 1st, 2017


Hi to all,



Here’s what I have for this Thursday’s price changes. Keep in mind that the gasoline price also includes performance of the product on the markets that compiles the overall number.



*Heating and stove oils show a drop of 1.4 cents a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows a slight drop of 6/10ths of a cent a  litre, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of 10.4 cents a litre at the pumps.



Market highlights



In spite of summer, the markets are still skittish

While OPEC may have been successful in its mission to extend production cuts to help elevate prices, markets are not all that excited about it, even as the U.S summer driving season has arrived. With not so much as a whimper as a collective sigh, markets are still seeing some holes in the deal the OPEC and non-OPEC members signed a mere five days ago.

     With the agreement was signed, two OPEC nations, recovering from their own internal struggles, were left out of the agreement to reign in their production. That in itself has allowed the possibility of a direct increase in overall OPEC output from present levels. With Libyan production set to climb to 1.5 million barrels a day from 250,000 at present, the difference alone from Libya may be enough to stymy any support for OPEC’s cause of supporting prices.

     Also set this week was a chance for Nigerian production to possibly return from its recent lows, allowing it to not be subject to cuts as well. That leaves the possibility of Nigeria, now exempt from the agreement, to return to close on 2.6 million barrels a day of production.

     Analysts simply can’t see the way out for OPEC as U.S domestic production continues to climb to “pre-collapse” conditions.

     What may help support oil may come as a surprise for some, but it’s a relatively simple guess: While U.S domestic production has been increasing, it has slowed a little, possibly caused by hiring issues in the fields. An industry collapse two years ago that put so many out of work may also be a deterrent for some to return to an industry that is essentially still in a very volatile mood. That may give OPEC oil prices some support in the weeks to come, and I’m watching for that.



Gas taxes drop this Thursday

The Newfoundland and Labrador government, as stated in the last provincial budget, is set to drop gasoline taxes downwards by 8.5 cents a litre (9.8 cents taxes in) Thursday morning when prices will be adjusted by the Public Utilities Board’s Petroleum Pricing office.

      The increase to gasoline taxes saw the government increase road taxes from 16.5 cents a litre to 33 cents per litre in the 2016 budget.

      While I am thankful that the retreat in gas taxes has started, I am also looking forward to getting back to an even playing field between all the Atlantic Canada provinces as soon as next year’s budget.

       At least we’ll enjoy the break at the pumps for the next few weeks.



That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, May 25, 2017

Here's what I have for Thursday:

*Heating and stove oils to increase by 1.7 cents a litre....
*Diesel fuel to increase by 2.5 cents a litre, and...
*Gasoline to increase by 2.6 cents a litre.



Market highlights

Gasoline continues to rise
Gasoline prices continued to rise this week as the US driving season approaches it's traditional start with the U.S Memorial Day weekend.
      While gasoline demand remains a little weak for this time of the year, speculators are all in with the rising prospects of anticipated demand as the weather starts to warm.
      Gasoline inventories reported last week showed a close balance between rising refinery capacity and a slightly less than expected drawdown on inventories.

OPEC members sign on
With the official OPEC meeting now just two days away, most OPEC members are starting to fall in to an extension of the production cuts agreement signed in November, to another deal ending in March of 2018.
      The agreement has helped oil prices rise in the last week from it's yearly low just two weeks ago.
      Both Brent and WTI prices have risen close on $3 US a barrel over the last week or so helping the rise in gasoline and distillate prices this week.

Trump leaves some wondering
Donald Trump's wish to cut into the US strategic reserve has some wondering, and some in concern for Trump's overall energy policy.
      While Trump wants to reduce the reserve by close on half, it leaves consumers at risk of skyrocketing prices should the US be hit with a string of supply cuts as the world saw with OPEC in the 2000's.
      The release of crude stocks from the US strategic reserve was used as an emergency stop-gap measure to bring some relief to rising oil prices then, as well as a source of oil in 2004-05 when the Gulf of Mexico region was devastated by Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Oil was sent to centrally based US refineries to keep product flowing to consumers when off-loading and refining of crude was disrupted along the coast at that time.
      With nearly 690 million barrels in reserve in times of emergency, it leaves some to wonder why he would weaken the country's sway on oil prices should another emergency occur.

That's it for this week!

Regards,

George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hi to all,
Here are the final numbers for this Thursday's price changes:
*Heating and stove oils show an added 2.2 cents a litre....
*Diesel fuel shows an added 2 cents a litre up, and...
*Gasoline shows an added 3.1 cents a litre.

Market Highlights
Gasoline set to increase as driving season approaches
The start of the summer driving season usually begins around the US Memorial Day holiday south of the border. While still a few days away, speculators are hoping to see an increase in gasoline demand this summer, and that's part reason why yours truly is seeing an increase in all spot prices across the board this week.
Saudi’s and Russia extend their cuts agreement
There is also breaking news from yesterday that showed OPEC member Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC producer Russia have signed on to an extension of their cuts agreement signed last November.
That agreement to maintain the same level of cuts extends now into March of 2018.
While it boosted oil prices in recent days, the promise of a powerful pickup in US domestic production (and production in other countries) should be enough to tip the scales back in a few days to dropping oil prices once again.
OPEC has to be careful.
While they may be fighting to bolster prices, they are again kicking open the door for a return of a more resilient US oil industry.
OPEC is set to meet officially May 25th in Vienna where cuts are on the agenda.
Sorry I didn't publish last week as I was in Cuba. Nice time away and I didn't even check the price at the pumps!

That's it for this week!
Regards,
George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Good or bad, Oil takes a dive

Well, if you saw oil drop like a stone like I did today, you must have been asking what was on the go?

Oil dropped on news that there's a "potential" settlement between rival factions in Libya. If an unsettled peace does come in, it will probably mean a quick increase in Libyan production and exports.

Why is that important?...

When OPEC and non-OPEC producers signed on to their agreement at the end of November, 2016, Libya, another OPEC member, was not included in the overall production cut. At the time, civil unrest had been raking the country, so, members decided that they would not be included in the cuts Implimented by OPEC. That cut came in around 1.2 million barrels, while non-OPEC producers like Russia, added another 600,000 barrels.

    With Libyan production down to 200,000 barrels at the time, I guess the rest of OPEC didn't think there would be a turn-around in Libyan production like what is expected to happen now.
Libyan production was initially set around 1.5 million barrels a day before the unrest struck, and could all be back online as early as July.

    We may have to wait until May 25th to see the final result of all this, as OPEC is expected to meet then, and they may just decide to deepen the cuts, or forget that option altogether, in which case, we may see oil prices crash again.

    While all a good thing on a consumer perspective, oil's volatility in a situation such as this, does nothing for the provincial coffers.

Regards,

George
Twitter #GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, May 4, 2017


Hi to all,



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



*Heating and stove oil both show a drop of 1.3 cents a litre.

*Diesel fuel shows a drop of 1.2 cents a litre, and...

*Gasoline shows a drop of 3.3 cents a litre at the pumps.



Market highlights



Can OPEC hold it together?

      Questions surround OPEC in its ability to “keep the group together” in light of recent news and data that shows some OPEC members have not been holding to their end of agreed-upon production cuts the group made in late November.

      While Saudi Arabia has cut back, their neighbours Iran and Iraq have been pumping out extra in the bid to gain market-share and may very well be the reason why in recent weeks, Saudi Arabia has been discounting product prices to both Asian and European buyers.

      If they continue to over-produce, it will itself bring doubts to the oil markets whether the group can maintain, let alone extend a production cut that was meant to support oil prices.



Two weeks of gas inventory gain means a drop in prices

      The last two weeks of gains in overall US gasoline inventories has resulted in a further break for consumers on both sides of the border again this week.

       US inventories of gasoline increased again last week according to the US Energy Information Administration, this time by 3.7 million barrels.

       This is the traditional time of the year that we see extra pressure on gasoline inventories that usually results in increased prices to consumers as the U.S Memorial Day holiday approaches

       The next EIA inventory report gets released Wednesday noon NL time.



That’s it for this week!



Regards,



George Murphy

Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Price changes for Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hi to all,

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

*Heating and stove oil show a drop of 2.4 cents a litre....
*Diesel shows a drop of 2.8 cents a litre, and...
*Gasoline shows a drop of 2.9 cents a litre from the regulated maximum.


Market highlights

API reports crude and gasoline inventories as "up"
      The American Petroleum Institute, an industry organization, has released its inventory report for the last week, and it's not good if you're a speculator.
      While crude only showed a growth of 900,000 barrels, gasoline showed a surprising build of 4.4 million barrels over the last week.
      If tomorrow's EIA inventory report also shows a build in inventories, it will be a troubling sign that demand may have weakened ahead of the start of the summer driving season
.
Doubts about OPEC cut extension
      Speculators must be getting nervous...
      While US domestic output continues to show robust growth, OPEC is now asking itself whether the group's output cuts are having the desired effect with oil prices. Doubts that OPEC will maintain their self-imposed output cuts past May month may be signaling the prospect that OPEC may again open the spigots in an attempt to turn down US growth.
      US domestic oil output has increased by close on 850,000 barrels since the last OPEC meeting on cuts at the end of November, well ahead of the pace that the EIA predicted for 2018.

      Stay tuned. This week could be interesting!

Regards,

George Murphy
Twitter @GeorgeMurphyOil

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