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Current price of oil

Post in 'The Green Room' started by elkimmeg, Jul 17, 2007.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Yesterday oil futures hit $78 per barrel. It seems there are problems in the North Sea production, causing the pricing increases.

    That and the switching over to produce home heating oil for the upcoming season. Home heating Oil now cost $2..11 to produce leaving the refineries

    The last time it was priced this high was last Aug. Part of the problem is not supply related, but refineries are now at peak demand.

    We just do not have enough refinery capacities to meet the demand. For those that may not know, no new refineries have been built in USA since the 70's

    At this point every glitch cough will disrupt production and prices will soar Including Hurricanes. That wood/ pettet/corn/ coal/ stove may be looking mighty good come January

    Time is almost gone to season wood properly. Time to get pellet supplies in order. Pellet wise the time is now. I doubt there will be any price declines in the next few months.
    and if shortages occcures these prices today are looking good. Another Katrinia disaster, all bets are off finding economical pellet prices..

    Here is a question I been thinking are pellet supplies like our oil refinery capacities they are at Peak ? IF so how does that effect pellet stove sales?

    It is still early but how are pellet stove sales going. How are pellet sales progressing what about supplies?

    Moderators this post might be better in the hearth? Please this is not Pellet VS wood debate, but a reality check of what to expect and current pricing and supply conditions.

    If you want to debate Pellet VS wood start a new post

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  2. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    No new refineries since the 70's and I've seen two perfectly operational ones torn down in my lifetime. Didn't want to update them to meet EPA standards. I honestly believe they saw reducing refining capacity as a way of making prices unstable. Instability seems to spell billions for these companies.
  3. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    There have been no new ones built but almost all of the existing ones have been updated/expanded in that time. Not saying we don't need more new refineries, I just think the "no new refineries since the 70's" quote is slightly misleading, they should be saying what increase/decrease in capacity there has been in that time.

    Here in Kansas we just had a major flood at the Coffeyville Refinery (100,000 barrels/day capacity) which shut it down and polluted half the city. That has caused our gas prices to go up ~20 cents/gallon, but we are still cheaper than on the coasts at $3.09/gallon.
  4. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    It's a shame that the 'bounty-full' rains those in the midwest have hoped for...have come "all at once"...and in selected areas.

    For those that have never driven across Kansas or that region in general... it trully is the "Bread Basket" of this country. Mother nature can be nasty to those folks...

    Here "on the coast" gas prices have dropped to somewhat of a relief though... the cheapest "in town" right now is $2.83/gallon at the local Cumberland Farms (convience store chain)...not sure what the prices are over at 'Gasoline Alley' though....

    July (typically) ends up being the 'cheapest' time to stock up on heating oil...I don't want to even try to speculate what we are in for this winter though..
  5. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Gas/Oil is still as cheap or cheaper than it was at almost any point in the past (adjusted for inflation).
  6. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    I saw a funny car commercial the other night by Honda. They were touting their "highest miles per gallon fleet." At the end of the commercial they stated that one of their models could go 600 miles on a tank of gas. Don't get me wrong, I own their products and think they make great vehicles, but how stupid do they think we are? I guess if you can't make it get more mpg, then you just have to install a bigger gas tank! I expect we will see many more gas mileage marketing angles in the near future.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Much product can be (and is) refined overseas and shipped here as finished. So the refinery excuse may not be accurate. It is a "free" market, and that means rumor, speculation, profiteering and many other factors are at play. They (traders, corporations, etc.) can inject stories and press releases into the media almost at will to change the perception or price. Think Diamonds.......my dad told me you could buy a $100,000 ring today, and if you went to sell it tomorrow, you would be lucky to get $30,000 for it. It's like the Golden Rule (he with the gold rules), except it's the Oil Rule (he with the Oil, rules).....

    T, I think the current price is just about at the top of what it was (adjusted for inflation), so it's not "cheaper", and also keep in mind that it hit that earlier high (1980?) for a very short time.
  8. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    The big oil companies (the five that control 55% of the crude) are now saying since Bush has called for increased ethanol production, it is just too risky to build new refineries that may not be needed. What a joke! They know that if they build more refineries, their capacity will increase, but the profits will probably stay the same or be lower since gas prices will go down. They are just like OPEC, release just enough to keep the prices low enough that people won't seriously consider alternatives.
  9. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    I think the lack of U.S. refinery capacity may have been an issue in the recent years, but the larger problem now is that oil producing countries are pumping as much oil as they can, which is about 84 million barrels a day, and world daily demand is at that level and growing. Add to that the fact that a good deal of the world's oil reserves are locked up in politically unstable places like Iraq and Nigeria. I believe the ugly truth is that we are at or near the Peak Oil producing point and slowly but steadily from now on less oil will be pumped from the world's oil fields, while demand will continue to rise. The North Sea's production has been decimated, the Mexican oil field in the Gulf is declining, Iran and Venezuala are ekeing out every drop they can Of course while richer nations like the US will be able to buy oil for a good while longer, we can expect to pay increasingly higher prices. I suspect that in a couple of years from now we will look back on the days of $75/bbl as the good old days.
  10. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Not when you factor in the greater percentage of taxes.

    Taxes used to make up about 10% of gasoline and now make up about 20%.
  11. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I was going to type a reply, but ChrisN covered it pretty well.

    His post is the truth.
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    ???

    We are talking about the price you pay, not what the components of that price are.....

    It appears the record high is an adjusted price of $3.22 TOTAL PRICE including taxes.

    I think we are still a bit below that, so you are correct there....although some places (like Ca.) are very high (higher than $3.22)

    Taxes are bound to go up for a number of reasons, among them:
    1. The US road infrastructure is falling apart fast, with thousand of bridges, etc. needing replaced.
    2. State governments always need more money, and gas taxes are less visible than sales tax or more property tax, etc.

    but, of course, that is another story. I doubt that taxes would go down, and in fact I would support higher gas and oil taxes (carbon taxes), but ONLY if the money was "lockboxed" for use in alternative energy, roads, pubic transportation, etc.

    As things are right now, it is more likely to go to other stuff, including lining pockets.
  13. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    But when you accuse oil companies of profiteering (something all capitalists do BTW) the reality is they haven't changed profit margins at all, just acquired more customers. In fact in many cases actual prices have fallen.

    The reality is oil companies simply aren't to blame for today's prices, government interference in the marketplace and a myriad of other factors including rising world demand are.

    Every time I hear people whine about the price of gas I chuckle and tell them to look at the actual price versus monetary inflation.
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Nah, I don't think I accuse them of that. I own too many Energy stocks to do that!

    The more they charge, the more I make.

    But in all seriousness, it is not a problem of profiteering. As you know, oil is a relatively low profit item. Why, we make VASTLY higher percentages on woodstoves and chimneys.......

    The price is still low - in my opinion - although it is starting to get to a point where it may be somewhat accurately priced. Try to get some guys to push your Prius down the road at 50 MPH for 40 miles, and you'll develop a new appreciation for what $3.00 can do.

    Still, the $3.00 does not figure the "real" cost of wars, security, pollution, roads, traffic and other aspects. I suspect closer to $5.00 or more would cover a more sustainable situation that didn't involve human sacrifice.
  15. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I think the problem is necesity of home heating oil. One can chose not to take a sunday drive but one has a hard time choosing not to heat their home

    Even without taxes, recently home heating oil pricing as gone beyond fuel pump cost , untill recently that never happened. Its not the cost of fuel going up ,but along with that every food article you buy goes up, due to increased transportation cost.. IT is a spiral that really hurts needy famillies. Every time they turn around scrafices are made to the point of eating or being warm.
    Unfortunately it could be a guy and his familly that worked for a company 20 years till, the company just closed its doors and moved opperations to the pacific basin.

    After a year all his savings are gone,, he is working but $10 jobs he falls deeper in the hole. I am describing potentially the next donor recepiant . He has an old slam in insert that is so dangereous to opperate, but he will be using it and taking risk.
    I'm prepared to spend money to get one, eventhough my winter finances may not be much better than his, if this winter is a repeat of last.
  16. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm certain you know about the Kennedy cheap heating oil program. Many older folks have a tough time with wood or pellet stoves, and oil bought under this program is cheaper than either.

    http://www.citizensenergy.com/
    "the Oil Heat Program is more than doubling in size, expanding to reach tens of thousands of the neediest households in many states. Eligible families can purchase one-time deliveries of up to 200 gallons of home heating oil at a 40 percent discount"

    Not to say a person should not burn wood, but when it comes to keeping the house warm for needy people, I hate to see them breaking their backs.

    Here is another one:
    http://massenergy.com/Comm.Intro.html
    See Oil Bank....
  17. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    I thought Hugo Chavez gave you North easterners cheap heating oil?
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, you are right in that even positive things (making $$ in stocks) can have negative consequences. But then again, I am simply harvesting the spilled coal by the side of the RR tracks. I have absolutely no effect on the market.

    You are also right in that ALL of these changes affect the poor much more than the wealthy. Again, there is little effect I can have on that except to be a progressive, meaning that I think we SHOULD have national health care and such things to provide for each other, as opposed to the theory that each person should sink or swim. I also try to help others with money, time and advice to prevent their sinking.

    As I mentioned before, I recently put some $$ into a Green (renewable and efficiency) energy fund, which BTW is beating the pants off the oil stocks.

    But, for our purposed of general discussion here, I think the Big Picture is that higher energy prices will encourage conservation, efficiency and less use of fossil fuels (and associated pollution, problems, wars, etc.) - and that is why I have that viewpoint. In terms of the stocks, I am simply putting my chips down onto the players that I think benefit from these trends.

    At $80 for a 42 gallon barrel, the dead wholesale price of unrefined oil is about $2.00 - as BB will explain, you don't get 42 gallons of gasoline out of this, so when you think that we pay $3.00 a gallon, that is $1.00 a gallon for:
    1. Intital transportation
    2. Refining and refinery profit
    3. Transportation of finished goods
    4. Retail markup at gas station
    5. State and federal taxes.....

    I can't imagine it being done for less.....the road system in this country is something we take for granted, but think about the costs associated with keeping all those roads in some sort of decent shape.....such a deal.
  19. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, the Kennedy thing is a partnership with Citgo (Chavez).

    I'm glad that someone cares about the poor. Bush is giving our (tax) money to ethanol makers instead of helping the poor -" let 'em eat cake and freeze!" is the message.

    Truth is, when we buy gas we finance terrorism (Saudis,Iran,Etc.) and also dictators (Putin, Russia) as well as all kinds of other chit. Chavez, by comparison, is a nice guy.
  20. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    I'd agree with that, but high prices are actually good as they encourage investment in alternative energy.

    Our government needs to get out of the business of controlling the market and worrying about things like price gouging (which simply doesn't exist). They need to go back to performing a few limited functions and let the market work.
  21. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    TMonter... Very good of you to "point this out" ....BUT I would also like to point out...

    High prices of oil and (and the notion of) it will "lead towards conservation and foster alternative develeopment"???

    WHEN and where have we heard that before??? In the 1970's,1980's,1990's??? YES TO all those years. While I'm not a big fan of 'government involvement' some sort of legislation should be in place to FINALLY move this country in the right direction. If alternatives do make any 'headway'...don't be surprised if big OIL counters with keeping oil at artificially low prices (like in years past) to drive down economic incentives to advance alternatives.

    All Americans should advocate that the playing field should be 'tilted' AGAINST big oil to make up for the years lost and the costs associated that "we have all paid for"...IMHO
  22. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Speaking of tolls......I was on the toll road outside of Denver last week and was shocked that they dinged me $2 about every 5 miles. That's an expensive way to get into the city!

    I would be inclined to agree with Hogwildz about tolls never going down, except I can remember when you had to pay the toll on I-90 between Stockbridge and W. Springfield, MA. But not no more! So occasionally, for whatever reason, the tolls do go down. Unfortunately, NY State never followed suit.
  23. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, oil is certainly not tolls - and either are stocks! Both of them do go down, although the very long term trend may be up. Still, all in all, energy remains cheap and is perhaps the best bargain available to us.

    It is usually impossible to get companies or people to pay for "years lost". However, my dad used to always enforce that rule - "This punishment is for all the times you DIDN'T get caught!"
  24. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Web..
    That is very subtle and eloquent analogy...perhaps the best way for America to view Big OIL... a child that is misbehaving... and should be addressed accordingly. ;)
  25. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    They built the toll road between Dallas and Ft. Worth in 1955 and said that when it was paid off the tolls would go away. I always said "Yeah, right.". I was amazed when the thing was paid off in December of 1977 and on January 3, 1978 they demolished the toll plazas.

    Of course the next day, since the various sections jurisdiction passed from the State to the localities along the road, every three or four miles a different town's radar traps appeared and started slinging tickets. I drove down it that afternoon and had never seen so many different cop cars and radar guns in my life. It was a circus.
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