heating oil prices going up?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Archives- from C-side : One Thread
heating oil prices going up?
greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Hi everyone. sorry i haven't been around lately -- mostly just reading, not posting much. Wow it's busy this time of year. Besides, the way I write it takes me longer to fix all the mistakes than it does to write it the first time! Anyway, I found this article in USA Today a couple days ago, figured peopel here might want to know about it. I haven't seen anythng about this in hte local papers. Have any of you? Our wood stove is looking better every day.
Northeast to Face Heating Oil Shortage Refiners Dip Into Stockpile to Make Trucks' Diesel Fuel
By James R. Healey and Dina Temple-Raston
June 26, 2000
While politicians and the populace battle to place blame for record-high gasoline prices in Chicago, a worse fuel problem is looming.
Those who heat with oil will shiver this winter -- and pay a premium. Just 15.3 million barrels of heating oil are stockpiled for the East Coast, which uses 75% of the nation's heating oil in the winter. That's well down from 41.3 million barrels on hand last June. And even that healthier inventory wasn't enough to prevent supply problems and high prices last winter.
''We're setting ourselves up for something more apocalyptic than last year,'' frets Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with Oil Price Information Service, an independent firm.
At the end of last year, heating oil prices in the East averaged $1 a gallon, up from 79 cents a year earlier, and prices briefly touched $2 a gallon some places last winter. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts $1.11 a gallon in the fourth quarter this year.
Others say it'll be a lot more. ''If we have a cold winter early, we could end up seeing in heating oil what we're seeing in gas prices -- in spades,'' says Bill O'Grady, oil analyst at A.G. Edwards & Sons. ''The problem is, this heating oil thing is an outright shortage.''
He says a gallon will average $1.40, for those who can get it, if crude oil prices stay around $30 a barrel and everything else is perfect -- no refinery fires, pipeline breaks or severe weather.
''There is a potential issue looming out there with respect to inventories,'' says Tom Mueller, spokesman for BP Amoco. ''And we're monitoring that now.''
Others are too.
''We're not forecasting a crisis situation, but stay tuned,'' says Neil Gamson, analyst at EIA, which supplies data to the Department of Energy.
While they aren't broadcasting it, federal officials are privately saying they are worried that shortages in 2000 will be worse than in 1999.
The problem is relatively simple. Refiners don't have the capacity to meet current needs and also build stockpiles of heating oil.
) Copyright 2000 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
-- Newbie (email@example.com), June 28, 2000
We prepaid for our propane last year at $.62/gal. The price stayed below that and we were allowed to pay the lesser amount even though according to the supplier's rules, we couldn't deduct the amount from our prepayment. This year, we prepaid again but the price ranges from $.96/gal to $1.04 if you commit to buy x number of gallons and you can pay for it monthly instead of lump sum. This year on the plan we chose, we can pay what the propane actually costs but the price can't exceed our commitment price. Convoluted, right? But the big issue is the horrid jump in price! One year a friend whose supplier only did the lump sum didn't have the ready cash and she ended up paying $1.37/gal in the middle of winter.
-- marilyn (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 28, 2000.
Natural gas prices in Kansas have already doubled, but hardly anyone has noticed since it is used primarily in the home for water heating and for clothes dryers during the summer. Farmers who rely on natural gas for their irrigation wells are hurting, but if it continues to esclate in price there will be many bankruptcies and foreclosures. The irrigation is needed for use to grow corn for grain and silage for the cattle in the many feedyards.
I'm considering getting a woodburning heating stove, but don't have a place to cut wood (yet) and only have a small supply on hand. The biggest problem I have is that my home is so small that I don't really have room for one. Sigh! What to do? What to do?
-- Notforprint (Not@thekeyboard.com), June 28, 2000.
I just called to have our propane tank filled and the price they gave me is $1.79/9. We were going to add a propane heating unit to back up our wood heating on the real cold days but now forget it, I will put in a couple of electric baseboard heaters, our electric is only .49 per KW and less work to install. We have a wood cook stove but no place to really put it. We are fortunate that we do not have real cold winters, 20 degrees is a cold one usually it gets to around 40 during the day. Still we burn about 3 cords of wood over the fall and winter but cord wood has gone way up in the past 2 years to as high as $200 a cord for seasoned wood.
-- Hendo (OR) (email@example.com), June 29, 2000.
Not to rain on anyone's parade here, but the price of electricity will likely keep pace with petroleum products, as much of the electricity used in this country is still produced by gas fired generating plants. In the seventies, during the alleged fuel crisis, electric companies began to charge surcharges and "fuel recovery fees" to offset their expenses. Sometimes the "recovery fees" were as great as the primary electric bill, or greater. Also, the next logical step in inflation is the price of groceries. Groceries went up quite a bit back then too.
There has been quite a bit said about seasoned firewood here off and on, but I have burned seasoned and unseasoned wood. Seasoned wood gives off more heat and burns cleaner, but wood cut as little as a month will generally burn without constant poking and prodding, unless the tree was growing in a very wet place. I've burned all kinds of wood too. It doesn't have to be prime hardwood to burn. During our hardest times, I picked up wood from the places the state dumped trees, limbs, etc. when they were cleaning up the highway right of ways. I have burned crape myrtle, mimosa, sweet gum, pine, and many other unidentified woods in addition to hardwoods. All wood ultimately burns and produces heat. Some burn better and produce more heat than others, but friends, if you are poor and cold you get a lot less picky in a hurry! It might be a good idea to start looking around now and pick up solid wood pieces to lay back for the future. Sometimes tree limbs will fall alongside country roads during storms. You can accumulate a surprisingly large amount of wood by just picking up a few sticks at a time. Try contacting your county maintenance crew and asking them what they do with the wood they collect after storms. Then call the state highway department and ask them where they dump wood and if you can glean from the pile. In Texas, they are only too happy for you to collect the wood so they don't have to burn it.
This may sound like an over-reaction to some of you, but remember, there are no emergencies for those who are prepared. Also remember, it is a lot more pleasant to gather firewood when the weather is good than to scrounge for it when it is cold and raining or worse. Been there, done that!
-- Green (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 29, 2000.
Where I live, the wood is always wet. Using unseasoned firewood will create creosote buildup in chimneys a lot faster, increasing the risks of chimney fire. We like to use wood seasoned for a year or so. However, we have burned wood that we cut six months prior when we had to. I think we used 2-3 full cords last year. We'll probably cut another 2-3 cords again this year and I think we still have 2 cords in the woodshed. We try to stay a year ahead, with some surplus.
We have hydro plants out here for electricity so maybe our prices won't go up as fast. However, Bonneville Power Administration controls most of it, and last time I looked they were selling it to everyone else. Who knows? I still have a lot of oil lamps and a wood cookstove!
I sure agree that now is the time to get going on that firewood. Also, if you need to buy woodstoves, chainsaws, anything related to cold winter heating, it's the time to buy that too! Catch this year's prices before the demand pushes them up as fall approaches.
-- sheepish (email@example.com), June 29, 2000.
i am with green, i have been watching for road crews that prune and leave nice little piles of wood. i am always sure to ask at the closest house just to make sure. i remember 4 or 5 yrs. ago running out of wood my husband was stuck out of state because of ice anew born baby girl and having to go look for wood. our old post and rail fence burned great! i often check with fencing companys now.
-- renee oneill (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 29, 2000.
On the same vein as getting downed limbs etc. My husband brings home small pieces of oak from packing crates at work. They use it in packing steel. It is usually 4x4 or bigger and 1-2 feet long. Perfect for the woodstove. Maybe check out the manufacturing company dumpsters. He bought a new chainsaw and we have 50 acres of woods, but he never had to cut any wood last year. Tami
-- Tami Bowser (email@example.com), June 30, 2000.
Burning just any old unidentified wood is not necessarily a good idea. It can kill you. I know that people who've used oleander have died from the fumes/smoke - I'd be surprised if that was the only poisonous one.
-- Don Armstrong (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 30, 2000.
Don, how big do oleanders get there? Here I've never seen any bigger around than 1". I never heard of any woods here that are dangerous to burn, unless you happen to be allergic to that particular wood. Softer woods do indeed smut up the chimney or stovepipe, and unseasoned woods do leave more residue, but cold is cold, and poor is poor. We all do what we have to do.
By the way, I understand that oil closed at $48/barrel in the West Texas Exchange.
-- Green (email@example.com), July 01, 2000.
I have also heard that natural gas prices are going to go up too. It seems that the more gas wells drilled, the faster it's getting used up and the supply is not keeping up with the demand. If you have any money to invest, I'd invest in oil or gas companys! Thankfully we own an old gas well that supplies us with free gas.
-- Michael W. Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 02, 2000.
-- (email@example.com), July 13, 2001