The average wholesale heating oil price on March 12, 2012, had jumped 9 cents from the last report to $3.38 per gallon (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 to previous years. This week's average price was 15 cents (or 5 percent) higher than the price a year ago.
The other states surveyed in the Midwest Region had comparable wholesale prices ranging from $3.26 to $3.51 per gallon resulting in a regional average of $3.42. States near in proximity to Nebraska, such as Missouri and Minnesota, had prices of $3.36 and $3.32, respectively.
For the week ending March 9, the Midwest distillate inventory level was in the upper half of the normal range for this time of year with the heating oil inventory level at 0.6 million (600,000) barrels.
The Oil Price Information Service collects wholesale heating oil prices each week for thirteen (13) 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.