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Propane prices down 14.3 percent

TRI-COUNTY AREA—Propane heating prices are down over last year 14.3 percent.  According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the price for propane is currently down 14.3 percent over one year ago.
As of Nov. 19, the agency said propane cost $2.37 per gallon in the western region (which includes Yates, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties).  Last year at this time the price was $2.76 per gallon.  The cost of propane has been holding steady at $2.37 throughout November.  According to NYSERDA, the lowest the cost of propane ever got this year was $2.33 per gallon the week of Aug. 27.
Roland Penta, owner of Sungas Phelps, said he expects this trend to continue for at least the next three years.  He explained the U.S. exports more propane than the country imports.
Penta added that the development of shale gases produces propane as a byproduct.  However, he also said the northeast currently lacks the infrastructure to handle the increase in gas production.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration explains that while propane is produced from both crude oil refining and natural gas processing, its price is influenced mainly by the cost of crude oil. This relationship is because propane competes mostly with crude oil-based fuels.  The EIA reports it expects U.S. total crude oil production to average 6.3 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2012, an increase of 0.7 million bbl/d from last year.
Other home heating costs rose slightly; Kerosene costs are up 1.2 percent and home heating oil is up 1.5 percent.  NYSERDA said the current price of kerosene is $4.25 per gallon.  One year ago it was $4.20.  The current home heating oil price is $3.93 per gallon.  Last year at this time, it was $3.87.




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