Archive for October 2015

Thursday 29 October, 2015

How Shale Oil Affects Heating Oil Prices

Shale sampleThe price of a barrel of oil has become a thing of scrutiny ever since our attention was turned to the Middle East decades ago.  The need to be less dependent on foreign oil has caused innovators to find ways to better meet our own fuel demands.  As opposed to conventional oil, shale oil is capitalizing on technological advances in the way we harvest and process oil.  That is good news for the long foreseeable future.

What is Shale Oil?

Unlike rigs that drill for the bubbling crude, shale oil is a rock.  It is harvested and processed differently.  As you may have been able to deduce by lower gas prices this year, it is a more economically sustainable method.  As the price of a barrel of oil decreases, that price cut is noticed in all forms of refinery, including your heating oil.  And with the largest shale deposits in the world located in the central-west region of our nation, there is no shortage of supply.  According to most experts (even given the unpredictable volatile political climate), prices will continue to drop or remain stable with known deposits to sustain us for around 400 years.

How is Shale Oil Harvested?

It is commonly referred to as “the rock that burns”.  It takes an enormous amount of heat and pressure to keep oil in a liquid form.  It must be mined from the earth using a simple yet sophisticated system and then heated through a process called retorting.  There are other methods currently being looked into that would heat the shale before it is mined from the earth.   Once the shale oil is in liquid form, it can then go through the refining process just like all other oil that is drilled.

Shale 2.0

Our nation is on the cusp of revolutionizing the shale oil industry.  Technological advances and highly motivated entrepreneurs have not given up on the potential this black gold mine has.  The geo-political climate is being heated as the barrel tries not to drop too much.  But lowered fuel costs after being too high for too long will naturally take time to settle back into as the shock of $20/barrel wears off.

The surplus of oil in our nation right now is the highest it has been in many years.  This has allowed a surplus of new technology to develop and big data projects with extraordinary software that has left the market in an upheaval with many changes to come, including more affordable heating oil.

 
 

Tuesday 20 October, 2015

Ways to Save Money When Heating Your Home this Winter

Income.If your home is not properly winterized, it will be like throwing money out with your heat.  Snow and below freezing temperatures are the norm during Lynchburg, VA winters.  A few simple and easy preparations can save you a lot of money on your heating bill.  You may even be able to make it through the winter on just one tank of heating oil.

Places You Lose the Most Heat

Doorways and windows are the places where you will lose the most heat.  When you run your hand along the frame, do you notice a draft or change in temperature?  Replace worn out weather stripping with new, inexpensive rolls and for around $10 a door.   Continue reading ‘Ways to Save Money When Heating Your Home this Winter’ »

 
 

Thursday 15 October, 2015

Inspections for Oil Tank

ltankAn improperly working oil tank can cost you hundreds of wasted dollars.  Whether you are buying a new home or have an older pump that seems to be going through oil faster than it usually does, an inspection can tell a lot.  It is important to have your heating oil storage tank regularly maintained and inspected to ensure you will not only be getting what you pay for, but also to avoid costly repairs and lost oil.

Locating the Tank

It is important to determine if your home has an above ground storage tank (AST) or an underground storage tank (UST).  If you are purchasing a new or new-to-you home through a mortgage lender, they could deny your loan until proper inspection is completed.  They may deny it all together given the bad reputation of UST.  Even if your tank is above ground, it could still be leaking or have faulty parts.  Lynchburg is known for having some of the richest history in our nation and that means older establishments that need to be regularly maintained. Continue reading ‘Inspections for Oil Tank’ »

 
 

Monday 05 October, 2015

History of Heating Oil to Warm Homes

hot tea in bedIf you have ever been in a home warmed with heating oil, there is a depth to the warmth not found in homes that use electric or space heaters.  It is the most efficient source of heat and has a bright future to go along with its progressive heritage.  Originally marketed as a medicinal product, it wasn’t until a Pennsylvania chemist provided the needed insight to distill it and transform the energy industry as we know it.

From Wood to Oil

When our nation was first formed, fire was the way to procure heat.  It was used to keep the family out of the bitter cold and to keep warm food in bellies.  The use of oil was not a new method when it was first drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859.  There are records of it being used as early as the 4th century in China.  But for the Western World, coal was rapidly replacing wood until the internal combustion engine allowed for a more economical refinement of oil that heating oil emerged.  But it still wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that heating oil for homes began to surge and become the number one fuel source for home heating in Lynchburg, VA. Continue reading ‘History of Heating Oil to Warm Homes’ »

 
 
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