How is coronavirus affecting the oil market you might ask. Well, China’s reaction to Coronavirus was initially to close down the cities and most would say rightly so. As a result, the shutdown of factories and the radical reduction of flights, has certainly justified the significant drop in oil prices.
China is the world’s largest importer of crude oil, of which they usually consume around 14 million barrels a day. (1 barrel=159L, so that’s 2 quadrillion litres a day!!!) Therefore their needs have dramatically declined to power machinery, fuel vehicles, and keep the lights on.
It is not just China who is using less oil. As airlines around the world suspend their flights & travel restrictions creep in the amount of jet fuel will decrease too.
But how do we expect coronavirus to affect oil prices to change over the next few months?
The main question to ask is whether the hysteria surrounding the Coronavirus has caused the oil demand forecasts to change considerably.
Many in the industry believe that if the epidemic dies out sooner than thought, then the Chinese oil demand has the potential to recover fully by the end of the year. In turn this would give a small reduction in the global oil market. Meaning your current price of home heating oil is unlikely to change dramatically.
It is worth considering that as the weather warms over the next few months, we would likely see a decrease in the coronavirus. Just as we do in England with the winter flu. This is not necessarily taken into account by the current forecast.
So far we have seen crude oil hit its lowest level in a year after it fell 20% from its January peak. This is the equivalent amount that the UK & Italy consume together. As a result this has shown the industry there is a strong link to coronavirus.
Source: BBC News
What are oil producers expected to do about the Coronavirus impact?
The world’s largest oil producers are discussing more production cuts, on top of those which have been in place since 2016. The aim of this is to boost falling prices. Opec members have called for measures to support oil prices as the coronavirus continues to hit demand.
What does Coronavirus mean for your home heating oil price?
Well of course it is difficult to say, but we have been monitoring prices. Although the price has decreased since January it has remained relatively stable ever since. As we recover from Coronavirus and the oil market evens out, we would naturally expect an increase in price provided no additional epidemics take place.
Source: Oil 4 Yorkshire
Moving to a new house can be a stressful time and even more so if you are new to oil heating systems.
This heating oil guide is designed to help answer the most common questions on the fundamentals of domestic heating oil, oil tanks and additives.
Firstly, I will give you a bit of background on heating oil and oil heating systems before we move on to the FAQs.
An Introduction to Heating Oil
Heating oil is used by roughly 1.5 million homes in England, Scotland and Wales making heating oil the most common alternative to gas.
The main difference between gas and oil is the presence of an oil tank on your premises. And, the fact that you are solely responsible for ensuring your oil level is checked regularly and you don’t run out of fuel.
Commonly, domestic oil-fired heating systems are powered by kerosene, but some do use red diesel. This is always important to check before potentially ordering the wrong fuel.
Be wary that heating oil and red diesel can have different names.
Heating oil is also called:
- Burning oil
- 28-second heating oil
And, red diesel is also known as:
- Gas oil
- 35-second oil
- Plant diesel
- Agricultural diesel
- Cherry oil
Now, on to the FAQs…
What do I need to know before ordering?
Before you order your first lot of heating oil, make sure that you have considered:
- The capacity of your oil tank and the current oil level – this will help you to decide the quantity of oil you require (minimum is 500L by law).
- The upcoming weather – If there is a prolonged cold spell forecast then you may want to consider stocking up.
- Your preferred payment method – Choose how you want to pay for your order.
- The desired delivery date – The majority of suppliers offer a standard 10 working day delivery with an option for quicker delivery at higher prices.
How can I avoid running out?
One of the simplest ways is setting a regular reminder to go and check your oil level every month/couple of weeks.
Or, for a more hi-tech solution, you can install a tank monitor which keeps track of your oil level and sends real-time updates to a monitor in your home. Some even include a built-in alarm to warn off any thieves.
Despite being highly effective, these can come at a bit of expense so it really depends on your personal preference.
The most popular models include Apollo and Watchman.
How much should I order?
Bear in mind, that the larger the quantity you order the cheaper price per litre. However, consider your current oil level and the capacity of your tank before you decide how much to order.
Unsure about the capacity of your oil tank? Check the make and model, then search for the capacity online.
How do I check my oil level?
The ever-reliable method of dip sticking still remains one of the easiest ways of checking your oil level.
A dipstick can be fashioned out of something such as a broom handle and then plunged to the bottom of your tank. Remove the dipstick and measure the top of the oil mark against the side of your tank. This will give you an indication of your current oil level. Comparing this mark to the capacity of your tank allows you to estimate the required volume needed to fill it to the brim.
For a more Hi-tech solution, check out electronic gauges. Once installed, these read your oil level and send the information directly to a monitor or a mobile app. Therefore, you get accurate, up to date readings of your remaining fuel. Popular models include Apollo and Watchman.
How do I pay for my heating oil?
Heating oil suppliers generally offer a range of payment options to choose from.
At Yorkshire Oils, we currently offer:
- Debit/credit card payments.
- monthlyPay – a budget scheme which spreads the cost of your oil bills over 12 months.
- Online payment – Transfer the order amount to the bank details shown on the invoice.
- Cheque payments – Existing customers only.
How long does oil delivery take?
Many suppliers offer a standard 10 working day delivery with options for shorter delivery at greater expense.
Whereas, we offer 3-5 working day delivery as standard and this can be made next day without the large premiums charged by typical suppliers.
Please note, that during periods of cold weather delivery may be extended due to a large increase in demand. Similarly, if the weather conditions affect delivery routes, your delivery window may also be extended.
How to order heating oil?
You can order your heating oil by calling us on 01423 396789 or by filling in our online quote form. For new buyers, we recommend that you call in order for us to discuss any requirements you may have.
How to save on your heating oil?
Save money on your heating bills with the guides shown below:
What do I do if my oil tank leaks?
For major leaks, you should try and stop any oil soaking into the ground where possible. In addition, you should contact your insurance provider and get them to send out an OFTEC technician or UKSpill accredited clean-up company.
How often should I service my boiler?
It is recommended that your boiler should be serviced once a year, by an OFTEC registered technician, in order to check and repair any faults which lead to decreased efficiency.
Note: We recommend that you use an OFTEC qualified technician for all servicing, installation and repair work. Visit the OFTEC website, where you can search for your nearest technician.
Can heating oil go off?
Heating oil doesn’t go off but there are ways in which you can keep your system in top quality condition.
- Use Additives – Additives offer many benefits including inhibiting sludge formation and reducing deposit build-ups. If untreated, these can clog up your tank and lead to further problems in your heating oil system.
- Keep your tank under good repair – cracks or loose seals can cause rainwater to enter your system causing multiple issues. Check your oil tank every month to ensure there is no water getting in.
Can heating oil lines freeze?
Heating oil can freeze but only at extreme temperatures. However, heating oil can become too viscous to be pumped around your system at very low temperatures. One way to counteract this is to insulate any exposed oil pipes during the cold periods.
What are heating oil additives?
Additives are comprised of multiple components which provide additional benefits to your system.
For example, Exocet Premium Heating Oil Additives aim to:
- Lower carbon emissions
- Stabilise Fuel
- Inhibit sludge formation
- Reduce deposit build-up
- Improve your system efficiency
Or, Exocet additives for oil fired AGA and Rayburn cookers aim to:
- Lower the char value
- Reduce the build-up of carbon deposits and soot
- Inhibit the growth of deposits in storage tanks
- Stabilise the fuel
- Reduce operating problems
What happens if I run out of oil?
Firstly, contact us so that an emergency delivery can be arranged. Meanwhile, call and collect 20L drums of Kerosene from our site on Rabbit Hill Business Park, HG5 0RB to keep you going whilst you wait for delivery. Our number is 01423 396789.
Please note, it may also be worth contacting your boiler engineer as your system will need bleeding.
I hope this heating oil guide answers all your questions and good luck with the new home/oil system. For any questions not mentioned, call us on 01423 396789.