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Do you heat your place with heating oil- #1 or #2?  There have been horror stories in the last half decade of residents in Fairbanks-especially around 2009, 2010, 2011, etc.. .. paying over $5,000 for oil heating during one calendar year. When do you fill your tank- whenever auto-delivery comes by?  At the end of each winter? When you dip your tank and only have a couple inches left?

I’m gong to throw out a couple of (possibly odd) considerations from a pocket book point of view if you are yet to make that decision.  For those having above ground fuel oil tanks and who live in the urban/rural interface, you may consider filling up after August when fire season is pretty much done yet frost hasn’t (typically) hit yet. We certainly have had summers where in June and July wildfires have come close to or consumed homes, and having your tank go through a burn- depending how intense it is and the kind of wildfire- may wipe out close to a thousand dollars worth of fuel.

If you have an underground storage tank and are looking at this July mimicking last wet July/August, you may decide to fill the tank (at least somewhat) now so that if the soil becomes over saturated the weight of the fuel alone will possibly keep your tank from being pushed to the surface (as many were last year). This may save your fuel lines from rupturing due to tank ‘floating’, or movement.

Or, watch the price trends to take a  proactive market driven stance. When you see prices go down and they seem to stabilize, you may want to fill.  Likewise, if you see a concentrated conflict arising around shipping bottlenecks the Suez Canal, you may consider filling up to avoid price spikes following some inflamed conflict which involves shipping of crude volume worldwide.

For what it’s worth, a recent  commentary in Bloomberg Financial (http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-06-28/why-oil-is-still-headed-as-low-as-10-a-barrel)  looked at the glut of oil supplies on the market, full refineries, ineffective OPEC members, and fracking behavior to come out the prediction lately that oil will level out at around $10/barrel.  When predicting prices paid by consumers, talking a raw input like crude and a refined end product like #1 or #2 fuel oil is somewhat like talking apples to oranges- but you better believe the pump price for heating oil will drop hard if such a dive takes place!