Several factors, called by some a “perfect storm,” have come together this winter to cause a spike in the price of LP gas, used by many to heat their homes or livestock barns.
In the past week, the price of LP has doubled and the end may not be in sight. That’s because our extremely cold weather shows no sign of breaking just yet. Forecasts call for more snow this weekend, accompanied by high winds and temperatures expected to fall below zero once again.
I was in contact with the governor’s office yesterday and was told they are well aware of the situation. Supplies of LP gas are still flowing into the state, by rail and by pipeline. The problem is that more product is being taken out of the system than is being replaced. And the price is skyrocketing. LP gas that sold for around $2 per gallon a couple of weeks ago is now going for well over $4. Earlier this week, the price jumped by 60 cents one day and 70 cents the next.
Price is one issue, and supply is another. One area retailer is limiting deliveries to 100 gallons. And as suppliers must send trucks farther and farther, sometimes as far as Kansas, to replenish their supply, the cost goes up.
It’s expected this spike in price will not last long once this cold snap ends. So another reason for not taking large deliveries is to prevent having high-priced product in tanks while the price is coming down again.
If you want more detailed information on the subject, I have included links to two articles that do a good job in describing what has led to this situation. This is not just a Minnesota problem as many other states are experiencing the same situation. As one of the articles explains, Texas has passed an emergency declaration that should help bring more product north to where it’s needed.
The two links are listed here:
Trying to conserve supplies of LP may be the best short-term solution for consumers as we work through this temporary shortage. Historically, the coldest temperatures of the season occur in mid to late January, so we should be turning the corner to warmer weather soon.