Heating oil prices top $3 per gallon in northern Maine
As the weather turned colder this week, heating fuel prices rose, with the average cash price for No. 2 heating oil at $2.88 per gallon on Oct. 1, up 14 cents from the previous month.
The Governor’s Energy Office also said kerosene was up 11 cents to $3.45 per gallon and propane was up 9 cents on average statewide to $2.77 per gallon.
Overall, heating fuel prices have increased 3 percent to 4 percent since June.
The average price of heating oil was the highest at $3.04 per gallon in northern Maine. Kerosene also was the highest in northern Maine at $3.61 per gallon. However, eastern Maine claimed the highest propane prices at $2.82 per gallon.
The energy office, citing Bloomberg reports, said several factors are causing the price hikes, including a significant drop in Iranian oil exports ahead of the second round of U.S. economic sanctions scheduled to take effect Nov. 4.
Another contributing factor is Venezuela’s struggling economy, which has caused a significant drop in production in that country.
And slight increases in oil production in OPEC member countries aren’t making up for the deficits in Iranian and Venezuelan oil.
The energy office said the long-term effect of the production decreases isn’t clear. If OPEC doesn’t pick up production enough, prices may continue to rise, but if it does, they may stabilize.
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