Archive for the ‘Oil’ Category.

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’ »

 
 

Thursday 05 December, 2013

Oil Processing

Industry“Drill baby drill,” one of the catchiest phrases to come out of the 2008 presidential election. No matter what your stance is on drilling, we all know our home heating oil originates from crude oil extracted from the earth. The final product however is far from the stuff first taken out of the ground; so how does it get that way? What processes does it go through from the ground in order to reach your home? Here is a quick look at what happens to your heating oil before it ready to distribute around the country.

Once it has been extracted from the ground, crude oil is sent to a petroleum refinery. These refineries are expansive campuses filled with an assortment of various processing units and other buildings such as storage tanks. It is impossible to pinpoint the exact processes that result in crude oil morphing to heating oil as all refineries operate a little differently, but there is still a general recipe each follows. Incredibly, the average refinery produces anywhere from 800,000 to 900,00 barrels of refined crude oil a day!

The main processes to take place in most refineries is in the crude oil distillation unit (CDU).The first step within the CDU is fractional distillation which facilitates the breaking down of the crude into various components or fractions. This is done by submitting the oil to varying boiling temperature ranges which breaks the crude into different hydrocarbon chains. There are four types of distillates produced that fall into four different categories: light distillates, middle distillates, heavy distillates, and other. Heating oil falls into the middle distillate category along with automotive, rail-road diesel, and other light fuels.

From here, the next step may possibly be chemical processing. This process takes some of the fractions and combines them with others. This is called conversion. The fractions then need to be treated to remove impurities. Achieved through a variety of processes beginning with a sulfuric acid treatment in a column, onto an absorption column to remove water, and completed with another sulfur treatment and scrubbers of hydrogen-sulfide to remove the leftover sulfur.  Finally, depending on the intended outcome, some fractions are again remixed to produce the final product.

So the next time you go to adjust your thermostat, take a quick second to think of all that needed to occur in order for the oil to be ready before it arrived to heat your home. It is truly amazing to think about!

 
 

Tuesday 03 December, 2013

History of Home Heating

New Home Construction Framed with Wood StudsToday we are lucky enough to live in a world where we can control the temperatures in our homes with the click of a button or turn of a dial. I imagine most of us never stop to think of how people heated their homes even 100 years ago, it was certainly not that easy! With the cold weather letting us know it’s here to stay with this recent January like cold spell, lets take a look back to the origins of home heating.

There is evidence of central heating systems used as early as 100AD by the Roman Empire. It was actually an ingenious set-up for its time, using hot air to create underfloor heating. Fueled by wood, the system was both expensive to maintain and labor-intensive to run therefore it was limited to mainly upper class households. Other forms of central heating systems that have been seen throughout the years following the Romans vary from wood-fired furnaces in Spain (early 1200’s) to the Russian’s hydrological systems (1700’s) and finally the first steam-heating systems in England in the 1800’s. These lead to the modern American systems, which began with wood based systems.

Wood was the main source of home heating and remained so until 1885 when coal overtook wood for the first time. At the turn of the 20th century low cost cast iron radiators and riveted-steel coal furnaces were common in many homes across the country. These were kept in basements and since electricity was not yet available, homes were heated by natural convection otherwise known as the tried and true, warm air rises mantra. This process was facilitated through ducts that provided the warm air access from the furnace to the rooms above. Things began to change in the mid-1930’s with the forced air coal furnaces. Electricity had been incorporated into the design and electric fans were used to distribute the heated air.

It wasn’t long after that gas and oil were adopted as primary fuel sources and soon made coal heating and the need to “stoke the fire” a thing of the past. Today American homes are still primarily heating their homes from these sources. About 60% of homes are currently using gas and 10% use oil. It will be interesting to see where the world of home heating leads in the years and centuries to come, no doubt they will become more efficient and increasingly environmentally friendly.

 
 

Wednesday 27 November, 2013

Pros of Oil Heat

oil pumps on sunsetAccording to the United States Energy Information Administration, as of 2009 about 10% of homes (approximately 14 million total) in America use oil or propane to heat their households. You may often hear about the negative aspects of using either oil or propane. It is often portrayed as being expensive and bad for the environment, well here is a look at the pros of oil heating!

One of the biggest pluses to using oil heat is safety. A lit match dropped into your fuel tank will put itself out as it is only flammable in a vaporized state. Not only is it not explosive, if your furnace or tank is leaking, the oil fumes are generally not deadly. If the system is leaking carbon monoxide, homeowners will usually be able to tell far in advance that their system isn’t working properly with obvious signs like smoke, soot, and other types of odors.

Another great aspect to oil heat is that it puts out more heat (140,000 per British Thermal Unit/BTU for oil vs. 100,000 for gas) than any other heat source making your home more comfortable. Burning with the hottest flame of any other home heating source, your home will heat faster all while using less fuel. It is also a more reliable source in that you have your own supply stored in your home. You don’t need to worry about pipe pressure that could compromise the temperature in your home that can sometimes happen with gas heating.

Oil heat can also be economical. When upgrading to a newer heating system, oil furnaces are more reasonably priced than gas furnaces and will save you up to 40% on fuel costs over an older system. In addition, regularly maintained equipment will ensure that your system is running at its peak. Sterling Oil also offers financing in order to make sure our customers are able to heat their homes without worry this winter.

Finally, despite popular belief, oil heat is clean. If you have a newer oil burner, there is almost no smoke or debris from combustion. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, oil burners are one of the cleanest sources of combustion. There has also been a move to make heating oil better with the recent introductions of low sulfur oil options that use biofuel and burn even cleaner than natural gas. Home heating oil is also nontoxic, carcinogen free, and biodegradable!

 
 

Monday 04 November, 2013

Petroleum Products

overall view of oil and gas installationAt Sterling Oil Company we offer a number of different petroleum products such as kerosene, fuel oil, and various levels of gasoline. You hear of these products quite often in daily life but do you really know what they are? Here is a quick look at each of the petroleum types carried by Sterling Oil.

Probably the most commonly known petroleum product is home heating oil otherwise known as #2 Fuel Oil. The number ‘2’ is actually a class of oil rated by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) classification system. It is delivered in a low viscosity liquid (meaning it is not too thick) state and is used widely throughout the United States at just under 7 million households.

Sterling Oil also carries ‘Low Sulfur (LS)’, a cleaner alternative to #2 Fuel Oil. LS is marketed as such because its sulfur content, is at the most, 15 parts per million.  To obtain this lower sulfur standard additional steps are taken during the refining process. It is a big step in the effort to lower emissions and become more environmentally friendly.

Kerosene is probably one of the more versatile petroleum products but is generally associated with lighting (such as kerosene lamps), cooking, and heating. Did you know it is also used as jet fuel and as an ingredient in insecticides? Like #2 Fuel Oil, kerosene has a low viscosity and is derived through the distilling of petroleum. It was the first to be extracted for large commercial purposes in the mid 1800’s.

In addition to all the products above, we also carry three grades of gasoline – regular, midgrade, and premium. The difference in the grade is based on the octane rating of the three. The higher the octane content, the higher the grade. Gasoline with a higher rating is less likely to self-ignite and will burn more evenly. When you are at the gas pump, the gasoline rating of 87, 89, or 91 (sometimes 93) correlates to their level of octane.

Various fuels have been distilled from petroleum for over 2000 years, first discovered by Arabian scientists. Petroleum products are, in short, very complex mixtures. In fact, there are many products we come across in our everyday lives that we do not realize are derived from petroleum, such as linoleum, perfumes, soap, and even vitamin capsules. Sterling Oil is proud of the petroleum products we carry and are proud to be serving the beautiful city of Lynchburg.

 
 

Monday 24 June, 2013

Our Very Own Inducted into Worldwide Who’s Who

Donna Beeler Hensley Inducted into Worldwide Who’s Who for Excellence in Business Management

Mrs. Beeler Hensley’s family business, Sterling Oil, is celebrating its 30th year of business

LYNCHBURG, VA, June 24, 2013 Donna Beeler Hensley, Vice President of Sterling Oil, has been recognized by Worldwide Who’s Who for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in business management.

A seasoned industry expert, Mrs. Beeler Hensley has 17 years of professional experience, with 12 years as a vice president of Sterling Oil. As a customer service expert, she is responsible for overseeing business operations and the service segment for the HVAC with her brother, Michael Beeler. This involves ordering and pricing fuel, acquiring the best inventory on the market, assisting with dispatched service calls, and ensuring that her staff is trained, knowledgeable and remains current with all customer needs. In addition, Mrs. Hensley is involved with sales and installation of new customer equipment, fuel lines, repairs to existing equipment, and all facets of the statewide oil business efforts. Mrs. Hensley also organized the company’s participation in disaster relief efforts during Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo along the entire east coast of the United States.

Mrs. Beeler Hensley is 45 years old, and she works with her father, H. Wayne Beeler, who owns Sterling Oil. They are celebrating 30 years of business this year. She attributes her success to her pride in the work she does and in the company, as well as her father, who is her hero, and who she greatly respects. She became involved in her profession because Sterling Oil is her family’s business, which she grew up admiring the tremendous work ethic of her parents. She was in the car business in her early 20s, and was responsible for inventory and ordering cars. After her father underwent open heart surgery, she stepped in to help with the business because she felt a sense of responsibility. With the guidance of her father, participation from her brother, and Mrs. Beeler Hensley’s unparalleled customer service, Sterling Oil Company has grown and flourished under this leadership.

Mrs. Beeler Hensley’s Company is a member of the Virginia Jobbers Association and she is always interested in the future energy needs, Mrs. Hensley is also an Associate for Viridian Energy which was founded in 2009 and is a rapidly growing energy company. They provide an alternate energy supply option to the local utility. When Mrs. Hensley is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. Mrs. Hensley prepares food for the neighborhood church to feed the community. She spearheads the community coat/teddy bear drives each year for the less fortunate. Family’s in her area who find themselves in an economic hardship often turn to Mrs. Beeler Hensley’s compassionate efforts, as the hundreds of customer thank you letters attest. Mrs. Beeler

Hensley confirms that her altruist heart is directly from her personal relationship of faith. An active church member, she is often called on to help others and responds happily. In years to come, Mrs. Beeler Hensley hopes for continued professional growth and development.

Sterling Oil is an area leader which provides heating and cooling solutions to residential and commercial customers. They supply a large portion of their area with heating oil, kerosene, diesel fuel, and gasoline. Also they provide fuel for commercial generators for existing businesses. Often they provide diesel fuel service to incoming vendors to the city for large construction efforts. They install new heat pumps, furnaces, air conditioning systems, and all ancillary associated products. For more information about about Sterling Oil visit www.sterlingoil.com and for information about Viridian Energy visit www.viridian.com/donnahensley Associate Number: 18575

 

 
 

Wednesday 19 June, 2013

Celebrating 30 Years of Business

H.Wayne Beeler started Sterling Oil Company, Inc in 1983

 

Our Company is a Family Owned Business and We take Great Pride in giving Fast and Dependable Service to Our Valued Customers here in the Greater Lynchburg Area and Surrounding Counties.

 

Our Company also has a Service Department We Install a Full Line of Heating and Cooling Equipment which included Heatpumps as well.

 

So Give Our Company a call at 434-845-0971 and we will be Happy to Serve You

Follow Us on Facebook and Twitter

And Tell Your Friends about Us…

 
 
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