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Comparing gas and oil prices before winter

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 05 2013 05:12:28 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 07 2013 10:10:43 AM CST

Comparing gas and oil prices before winter

If you're still waiting to crank up the heat in your home, there's good news if you use oil: prices are going down.

And there's good news if you use gas. Its cost remains well below the cost of oil.

It's November and a lot of people are filling up the oil tanks.

"Naturally as the price of fuel comes down, it's better for us as a company, because it's better for my customers," said Tony Malandra, president of Yeager's Fuel, Inc.

The price for crude oil has been going down for months now according to Tony Malandra, president of Yeager's Fuel in Allentown.

Experts say concerns over a global slowdown are driving the price of oil lower.

Currently the average price of home heating oil is $3.81 per gallon, 19 cents lower than this time last year according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The national average price for natural gas in 2013 has been higher than 2012, but locally UGI projects the price of gas this winter will be comparable to last winter’s prices.

"There are a couple of reasons why gas trended up a little bit earlier this year," said Joseph Swope, communications manager for UGI Utiliies, Inc. "There was a late winter which drained the gas storage and drove prices up for a little while."

But Swope says prices have moderated since then. And thanks largely to the hydraulic fracturing revolution, the cost of natural gas is dramatically lower than it was five years ago.

Swope says UGI's proximity to the Marcellus Shale formations in Pennsylvania means UGI has access to gas at lower prices than the national average.

"The price of fuel, and the price of the two energies it's kind of cyclical," added Malandra. "If heating oil is so high and natural gas is so low, sooner or later they have to balance out."

"The price of fuel will change," said Malandra. "I don't know what it's going to change to, but that's a guarantee the price of fuel will change and hopefully it will drop."

So whether you heat with oil or gas, there’s reason to be thankful about prices this winter.