Energy Communications Council

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Kevin Rooney
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ECC Statement on Winter Heating Season Outlook

Washington D.C., October 12, 2010 "Heading into the heating outlook for the 2010-2011 winter, data from the Energy Information Administration and American Petroleum Institute suggest that heating oil supplies will be plentiful for consumers. Heating oil inventories are 17 percent above their five year average, according to API’s latest Weekly Distillate Update. Oilheat retailers are again poised to provide consumers with a high-quality product that gives them great warmth and environmental piece of mind. Ultra low sulfur heating oil supplies that will be used in New York and some other Northeast states are nearly 9 million barrels above their level a year ago, according to EIA’s latest weekly report." -- John Huber, Energy Communications Council (ECC) chief spokesman

Heating oil prices vary significantly among U.S. states and regions. If you are writing about the winter heating outlook for a particular region or state, please contact ECC members.

• Aside from supplies, other key factors in winter energy prices are weather changes and the price of crude oil set by worldwide markets.
• Predicting with any precision the occurrence of below normal temperatures which might drive significant increases in heating oil consumption over the course of a winter heating season is nearly impossible..
• To a large extent, the rise or fall of crude oil prices is driven by the strength or weakness of the U.S. dollar against other foreign currencies, such as the Euro, since the dollar is the primary currency in which oil is traded. When the U.S. dollar weakens, oil prices generally rise, partly on the expectation that foreign oil producers need to recover any resulting losses in their home currencies, and also because large commercial and institutional investors will then move into commodities such as oil in order to offset potential currency losses in their portfolios.

Read the ECC’s news release on 15 Critical Winter Energy Conservation Tips for consumers.

National Oilheat Research Alliance ECC is funded in part through the National Oilheat Research Alliance.