Oil prices super-low as no end in sight for warm Christmas

Heating thermostats might not be needed as much as normal this Christmas, with the mild weather, but any oil that is used for heating will be cheap
Heating thermostats might not be needed as much as normal this Christmas, with the mild weather, but any oil that is used for heating will be cheap

Although many householders may feel little need to top up their tanks due to the unseasonably warm weather, home heating oil remains at a very low price.

According to the price comparison website www.cheapestoil.co.uk, the average price per litre of home heating fuel continued to dip on Monday, hitting a roughly seven-year low of 28.3p (including five per cent VAT) – a decline of 0.1p on the day before.

This is the lowest price since December 2008 (which is as far back as its online chart goes) – and is less than half of the price it was in March 2013, when a litre was averaging more than 66p.

Jane Finney, of Banbridge-based oil distributor Finney Brothers, said: “We’re not really as busy as we normally would be in the run-up to Christmas – but people are buying bigger quantities as well because of the prices.”

It appears unlikely that such retailers will experience a surge in demand this side of Christmas Day either, because the Met Office told the News Letter that there is no immediate sign of an end to the current warm spell.

Forecaster Emma Sharples said that on Sunday, the Province’s highest temperature was 11.1C at Murlough, Co Down, while the lowest was 2.8C at Killylane, lying inland from Larne.

She said that highs could reach between 9C and 12C today, accompanied by showery weather.

Wednesday is likely to be less showery, with maximum temperatures declining to around 7C or 8C, and slightly cooler again the following day. By the time Christmas Day comes on Friday, this is likely to climb to 10C or 11C again.

Asked if an end to the warm spell is in sight, Mrs Sharples said: “Not within the next week or so.”