It’s that time of year again. You may have spent the summer overseeing a seasonal business or even relaxing in the sun. In any case it’s about show time. One man’s painful winter of snow filled driveways and snow fall traffic is another’s winter of action and profit. And trust me – I wish you well even as I eye the days getting shorter and the clothes getting heavier. With that in mind, we take a look at a variety of oil-heavy topics in this issue.
From a price perspective, this issue’s Oil Price Outlook notes that it should be a sane year from a volatility standpoint with prices remaining relatively low and if anything maybe moving down a bit. Relatively low is unfortunately likely way too high compared to what supply and demand says they should be, as the article details.
When I first started covering oil prices a decade ago from crude to refined products, it was a different world. OPEC was making waves by efforts generate a “price basket” in the now astronomically, but at the time notably high $20 per bbl. range. The price of refined products was similarly depressed. If prices did rise notably back then it was because of some infrastructure disruption that would settle out quickly enough. And the peak prices back then were comparable to relatively modest prices today in our new reality. We now see crude prices in the $70 per bbl. range and the corresponding refined product prices, and think: “It could be worse…”
I know, even after a decade I’ve not been in this long enough to be more than wet behind the ears. But the change has been so remarkable, especially in the past few years, that it cannot be understated.
Oil Analyst Peter Beutel of Cameron Hannover notes that while we do live in a different world today, but just maybe we’re not stuck here forever. In fact, as noted things were much different a decade ago and while the world has changed it has not changed nearly as much as the price of oil would suggest.
We also take a look at some bulk plant upgrades and available bulk plant technologies and offer up our oil handling directory.
Hopefully, those of you operating bulk plants have them in tip top shape for the coming season. There is the temptation that if a plant meets regulatory requirements and has no obvious functional issue there is no need to treat it with the same interest, perhaps, as the trucks and heating appliances and business systems.
However, numerous advancements have been made in the past decade or so in areas from operational efficiency to product control. Plants can be safer and more efficient. Down time and environmental concerns can be minimized. And you can get a firm grasp on every gallon that moves through your business. And given the price of the product today every gallon counts.
Correction to the recent Chemical and Training directory listings:
Fuel Management Services, Inc.
13 Main Bayway
Toms River, NJ 08753
Contact: Mark J. Stellmach
Kitty Hawk, NC