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Heating oil bill down by half

SUNBURY — Home heating oil prices have plummeted to its lowest price in years: $2.08 a gallon as of Nov. 30, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That’s almost half of what you’d have paid last year, around $4 a gallon.

That’s good news for homeowners. Even better news is the projection by AccuWeather meteorologist Dave Samuhel, who said their model for this winter indicates slightly warmer average temperatures from now through February.

“On average, we believe the Susquehanna Valley will be 1 to 2 degrees warmer over the next three months,” he said Friday night. “That’s due to the El Nino effect, which will be quite strong this year, keeping arctic air masses to the north of the Valley.” Typical average winter temperatures in the Valley are 45 degrees in Dec., 35 in January and 42 in February.

All of this should result in less use of home heating oil, said Louis D. D’Amico, president and executive director, Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association.

“This year we’re definitely looking at lower heating prices,” he said, “although probably not as low as what one might expect given the low price of crude oil. Heating oil depends on a lot of things beyond just the price of crude oil … including the cost of refining.”

In related news, Warm weather worsens glut of US gas, heating oil: Kemp.

The biggest cause of the drop in oil can be attributed to decisions by the Saudi Arabians, D’Amico said, “who have not firmed up the price of global crude oil. Unlike natural gas, oil is driven by the global market. The U.S. has upset the price of oil because we have dramatically increased the price of oil production in the United States.”

As reaction to that, D’Amico explained, the Saudis have decided not to curtail their production because they want to drive oil prices down to decrease development in this country, so they can then get a bigger share of it and raise the price that way.

“In the long run,” he said, “I believe it is a failed strategy on the part of the Saudis. As badly as it is hurting U.S. producers, it is certainly not helping any of the OPEC countries.”

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This article was written by Rick Dandes from The Daily Item, Sunbury, Pa. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.