Snowy Trees

Winter Storms Back-to-Back-to-Back

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Winter Tips for Heating Oil Deliveries So You Stay Warm and Comfortable

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Light Blue Home w Snow

Polar Vortex

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Polar Vortex! Coldest temperatures in 20 years! Wind chills of -60 degrees! OMG!

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Thermometer

Lower Heating Oil Prices This Winter

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Good news for all of us that heat our homes with oil. Heating oil prices will be lower this winter says the Energy Information Administration. EIA expects residential heating oil prices to average 5% lower this winter than last. That translates into a savings of better than $100 for the typical home in the Northeast where the majority of heating oil is consumed.   

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Gas Prices

Oil Prices Still Too High Says IEA

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Although oil prices have dropped about 14% in the last month, and gasoline and heating oil prices are following, The International Energy Administration said yesterday that oil prices are still too high. Amid growing concerns that the overall run-up in oil prices since last September is affecting recovering world economies, IEA indicated that there is an “urgent need” for additional oil production to prevent further price increases in oil and fuel prices. In overnight trading, crude oil prices rose to over $99 a barrel compared to $68 a year ago. Read More »
Hurricane Weather

2011 Hurricane Forecast Could Help US Fuel Prices

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Fewer hurricanes are forecast for 2011 and that could be good news for U.S. fuel prices. Fewer hurricanes mean less disruption to oil production, but the path of storms and their impact on coastal areas of the U.S. is what is most important. AccuWeather yesterday released its 2011 hurricane forecast indicating the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season is not likely to produce as many tropical storms as the historic 2010 season.

Hurricanes can have a significant impact on the price we pay for gasoline, heating oil and diesel fuel. If the path of a storm avoids oil production, refining or distribution resources, as most did in 2010, the impact on prices is typically less. However, if hurricanes travel through the Gulf of Mexico or hit the Gulf coast the impact on fuel prices can be considerable. Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico can shut down drilling platforms, disrupt barge shipments of oil coming into Gulf ports, and impact the refineries located throughout the Gulf Coast. The impact of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for example, was the costliest hurricane on record and impacted fuel production and prices for months after the hurricane.

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Thermostat

Americans Give Back Tax Savings to Higher Gasoline and Fuel Prices

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This year’s cut in Social Security taxes will save most households $1,000 to $2,000. And that savings has led to greater consumer spending, jumping 0.3 percent last month alone, according to the Associated Press. But most of the tax savings is being given back to higher gasoline and other fuel prices. With gasoline prices currently $0.79 per gallon higher than last year, the average 2-car family will spend an additional $872 this year to keep gasoline in the tank. Add to that the increases in food prices and other consumer products which is caused by higher fuel prices, and those tax savings have disappeared. So the higher take-home pay that resulted from the tax cut, and was predicted to lead to more consumer spending, did work. Unfortunately that spending isn’t buying us any more, but rather just covering the increased prices resulting from the run-up in crude oil prices. Read More »
Blue Chart w Pen

Want to Gamble On Fuel Prices?

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Or at least gamble on the future price of jet fuel? If Allegiant Air has its way, their customers could essentially place a wager on the future price of jet fuel. Here’s how it would work. A customer could either purchase a traditional fixed-price ticket, or a discounted, variable-price ticket with the final cost based upon the price of jet fuel on the departure date. If the price of jet fuel declines by departure, the customer would get some cash back. If the price of jet fuel goes up, then the customer pays more, up to a cap price. For travelers it might be a chance to gamble on a cheaper ticket price. Interesting that Allegiant is headquartered in Las Vegas, the gambling Mecca of America.

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Silver Oil Tanks

Should Obama Use Strategic Oil Reserves to Relieve Oil Prices?

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As oil prices continue to surge on news of supply interruptions from Libya as well as increasing demand due to the ongoing economic recovery, the Obama administration is reviewing all options, including using the U.S. Strategic Oil Reserves. Over the weekend, administration officials acknowledged that the Strategic Oil Reserve is “on the table” as an option to add supply to the market, and potentially slowing the increase in oil prices. “It is something that only has been done on very rare occasions,'' said William Daley on "Meet the Press" on NBC, adding, ''It is something we are considering.'' There is increasing concern that if oil prices remain above $105 or $110 a barrel, it could damage the U.S. economic recovery. Meanwhile both Japan and South Korea have said that they have not yet made plans to release any oil form their strategic oil reserves.

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Light Blue Home w Snow

Residential Heating Oil Prices Increase Sharply

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The U.S. Energy Information Administration released their weekly report yesterday which detailed the impact that the events in Libya and elsewhere are having on oil prices and the entire oil complex. For residential heating oil the agency reported, “Residential heating oil prices continued to rise during the period ending February 28, 2011. The average residential heating oil price increased to $3.76 per gallon, nearly a $0.14 per gallon over last week and $0.86 per gallon more than last year at this time. Wholesale heating oil prices increased by $0.21 per gallon last week, reaching a price shy of $3.05 per gallon. This is $0.93 per gallon higher than last year's price.”

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Shadow Oil Rig

U.S. Oil Inventories at Record Highs

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Continued increases in the inventory of most fuel products in the U.S. is keeping oil related price increases at bay. The EIA, in their weekly inventory report, pointed out that total U.S. product stocks were 34.795 million barrels higher than the five-year average and 16.521 million barrels more than year-ago levels. Gasoline inventories are at a 21 year high. And the markets seemed to react with heating oil contracts going down by almost 4 cents a gallon and gasoline contracts by 3.6 cents per gallon. If these reductions hold at the wholesale level, consumers could begin to see lower prices at the pump and lower prices for home heating oil, which have increased by $.66/gal. since the beginning of the heating season.

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Gas Prices

Oil Prices - A Bargain in the U.S.?

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It’s true. Crude oil prices in the U.S. are currently priced at an unusual discount to crude oil on the other side of the Atlantic. If you want a more technical explanation, read on. Otherwise you can simply take some comfort knowing that in spite of the 2-year highs on heating oil prices and other fuels, it would be worse for us if we lived elsewhere.

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Gas Prices

Highest Heating Oil Prices in Over Two Years

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Heating oil prices reached their highest level in over two years, according to the most recent data from the Energy Information Administration. Retail heating oil prices now average $3.282/gallon on the east coast, with a national average heating oil price of $3.26/gallon, which is $.50/gallon more than heating oil was last year at this time. The last time heating oil topped this price was in October 2008.

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Blue Global Map

Major Cold Shock for January

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AccuWeather.com said that January could be the coldest January for the U.S. as a whole since the 1980’s.  They predict that every region of the nation could see a “major cold shock” in the middle of the month. If the northeast sees a major cold shock delivery capacity for home heating oil will become strained as January is already the highest demand month for heating oil. Homeowners would be wise to order their heating oil a bit ahead of schedule to allow an extra cushion just in case extreme cold weather does impact prompt fuel oil deliveries.

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Thermometer

Coldest January Since 1985

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January’s temperature forecast is likely to have a significant impact on heating oil demand as well as heating oil prices. As reported by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney,  AccuWeather.com said that a wave of frigid winter air is forecast to sweep out of NW Canada and Alaska this week and could bring single digit and below zero high temps to much of the U.S. through the 3rd week of January.

Last week, AccuWeather’s Joe Bastardi said that this could be the coldest January for the nation since 1985. NOAA said that the La Nina is near its peak strength but a weaker version is expected to continue well into the northern hemisphere spring.

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