Oil prices fell in 2008-2009 heating season

Posted March 18, 2009, at 10:06 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The price of heating oil declined steadily over the course of the 2008-09 heating season, according to the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security.

In its March 16 oil survey, which is the last scheduled survey for the season which runs from October to mid-March, the OEIS reports that the statewide average cash price for No. 2 heating oil is $2.07 per gallon, a 3-cent decrease from the week before.

This is the lowest average cash price on record for the heating season, down $1.46 per gallon from the season high of $3.53, documented in the first 2008-09 survey on Oct. 6, 2008.

“Heating oil prices are at their lowest point of the season, a level not seen since 2005,” OEIS Director John Kerry says in a statement on the OEIS Web site dated March 16. “This reflects a continued drop in demand, an increase in inventories, and an overall global drop in economic activity.”

The average price of heating oil declined throughout the course of the season with the exception of a 10 cent increase between Jan. 1 and Jan. 12, when the average statewide price went from $2.28 to $2.38 a gallon.

The prices are statewide averages, which may not correspond with prices in specific regions of the state. The final survey indicates a weekly low of $1.57 per gallon of heating oil in southwest Maine and a high of $2.30 per gallon in the northern and central regions for the week of March 16.

The average price per gallon of propane this week reached a season high of $3.31. This represents an increase of 53 cents over last week, 3 cents from the opening survey price of $3.28 on Oct. 6, 2008, and 1 cent from the previous season high of $3.30 on Oct. 13, 2008. The average price for propane represents the price per gallon for a 600- to 800-gallon domestic heating application.

For more information on energy data and heating prices, visit the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security Web site at www.maine.gov/oeis/index.html or call 287-8927.

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