If you’re a homeowner, you’ve likely paid a premium for your Heating Oil. While you may not have noticed, gas prices are steadily increasing.
This is because oil is refined into fuel and used to fuel vehicles. In the U.S., the process of producing heating oil begins with the production of crude oil, a byproduct of the petroleum industry. Refineries refine the crude oil, which is then refined into gasoline or Heating Oil. This fuel is produced in domestic oil refineries and shipped to the East Coast.
There are many types of fuel oil. The British standard was published in 1982 and the most recent version, ISO 8217, was published in 2017.
The ISO standards describe four different grades of crude oil – distillate and residual – and specify various environmental parameters, including the maximum sulfur content and boiling point. The grades differ from each other by their varying viscosities and carbon chain lengths. As a result, the prices of these oils vary considerably.
Fuel oil, also known as heavy oil, bunker fuel, and furnace and boiler oil, is petroleum-derived hydrocarbons that condense at 250-350 degrees Celsius. This temperature is lower than that of petroleum jelly, bitumen, or candle wax, but higher than that of kerosene. Heavy hydrocarbons, such as propane and diesel fuel, condense at 340-400 degrees Celsius. This allows them to be burned directly in specialized boilers and furnaces.
Most heating oil used in the U.S. is refined at Irving Oil in Saint John, New Brunswick. In addition to refined fuels, some heating oil suppliers also offer blends of petroleum distillate and biofuels, which are approximately five percent biofuel by volume.
However, the United States market is dominated by smaller suppliers that sell their fuel in bulk. Heating oil suppliers typically provide Department of Energy average prices per gallon for consumers, but are hesitant to list these on comparison sites. Instead, they prefer to supply quotes that are most accurate for the property they are serving.
If you’ve been wondering why your gas prices have skyrocketed, you are not alone. Oil prices have increased steadily in recent months, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently reported that a release of 1 million barrels of oil per day could cut the cost of gasoline by 10 cents to 35 cents per gallon.
In fact, the average price of gas rose nearly three cents a gallon on Friday, but it’s still well above the $3.62-a-gallon price at the end of January. Assuming that the price of gas does not decrease any time soon, the average price is projected to climb by another $1 per gallon by 2021.
If you’re a natural gas user, you’re probably dreading the news that your winter heating costs are about to rise dramatically. Natural gas costs are expected to rise by nearly 50% this year, and natural gas users in the Northeast will pay $746 more than last year. Meanwhile, oil users can expect to pay $1,800 in the winter. Propane prices are expected to rise by over 50%, and the cost of heating oil is expected to top $1,400 in some regions.