The average wholesale heating oil price had fallen four cents from last week to $1.72 per gallon on December 22, 2008 (see the table at the end of this report). The graph below shows the spread in Nebraska prices from month to month and from this year compared last year. This week's average price was 99 cents (or 36 percent) lower than the price at this time last year.
The four other states surveyed in the Midwest Region had lower prices ranging from $1.46 to $1.56 per gallon resulting in a regional average of $1.53. Normally, the other surveyed states have comparable prices to Nebraska, but North Dakota has not submitted any reports after the first week of December. Ohio has started submitting reports, but Ohio's weekly average falls far short when using it as a replacement for North Dakota's average. North Dakota's average had been running 60 to 90 cents higher than the regional average whereas Ohio's average is relatively no different than the regional average. States near in proximity to Nebraska, such as Missouri and Minnesota, had prices of $1.56 and $1.46, respectively.
For the week ending December 19, the Midwest distillate inventory level was on the bottom boundary of the normal range for this time of year at 2.9 million barrels.
Notes: The annual report for the 2007-2008 winter season is available. An archive houses annual reports from previous years.
The Oil Price Information Service collects wholesale heating oil prices each week for Nebraska and four (4) other states in the Midwest Region during the heating season (October to March). The Energy Information Administration, the independent statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy, uses the prices collected by the Oil Price Information Service to calculate a state average price, a regional average price, and a national average price which can be seen in the report Wholesale Heating Oil Prices by Region and State.
Prices are not collected during the off season (April through September).
For statistical purposes, the Energy Information Administration defines the Midwest region to include the states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.