Your Ultimate Guide To Oil Prices

The oil and petroleum industry can seem like a volatile and unpredictable market where prices are always changing. But understanding the underlying factors that go into oil prices will help to clear the fog over the oil market. According to a new article published by CNBC, the three top factors that influence the price of oil are; supply, demand, and geopolitics. So today in our ultimate guide to oil prices we will dive down into the real reasons oil prices are always changing, and what causes them. Welcome to SC Fuels Ultimate Guide to Oil Prices.

Supply and demand is the fundamental cornerstone of economics. The more of a demand for something vs the amount of supply of said thing are related in the form of high to low. High supply and low demand mean that prices should be low or dropping. Low supply and high demand would mean that the opposite is true. In the case of oil, supply is determined by countries that are part of OPEC. As of lately, the United States role to play in the global oil supply has grown thanks to the booming growth and production from shale fields.  When the global output of oil is more than the public can consume then prices drop like they did during the infamous low of 2014.

2014 was the year of the great oil crash. From 2000 to 2008 oil saw an unprecedented increase in price per barrel, growing from $25 to $150. This increase can be attributed to the direct increase in demand from developing first world economies, like China and India. Other countries such as Russia and Brazil were also in a state of dramatic oil consumption that led to an unquenchable demand of oil. The price remained around $125 until 2014 when it went into freefall. Around 2010 the demand for oil plateaued but the production of oil barrels continued at its maddening rate. The production of oil eclipsed the demand by 2014 leading to more oil than the world could use… and the free fall of prices that bottomed out at $40 per barrel.

In the 2014 scenario, we learned that trends in consumption play a huge role in the price of fuel however it falls back to the fundamental creed of economics. Supply vs demand. When the supply of oil was at an all-time high, the demand was not there to satiate it, hence the drop in price. There are other factors that do go into the final cost, things like Refining costs vs profit, distribution, marketing, and taxes. Refining costs are usually varied seasonally. This is why fuel costs increase during the summer months, while also taking into account any additives such as ethanol and other chemicals that reduce CO2 emissions all factor into the final cost of these barrels

The EIA or the United States Energy Information Administration states that of each barrel 61% is the cost of crude oil, 15% us federal and state taxes, 12% is distribution and marketing, and 12% is refining costs and profits. Looking deeper into the supply and production of oil we see that an overwhelming majority of all oil is produced by OPEC. This places tremendous power in their hands in deciding the price for fuel. This has led to the increase in production of oil in large economic powers such as the United States and Russia, as well as an increase in the production of alternative fuels such as shale oil and biofuels.

Oil prices have now evened out at around $70 per barrel at the time of this writing, and have stabilized to a point where drops and increases have been negligible. So following the standard pricing model in the graphic above, you can see how the general price of oil is calculated.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read the SC Fuels ultimate Guide to oil prices. We hope you have learned something about the price of oil and maybe something about how the fuel industry is run. Consider subscribing if you are interested in learning more about the Oil industry and all of the intricacies that go into making the gears turn,



-The SC Fuels Team.


State of Global Energy and Emissions.

The IEA (International Energy Agency) has published their yearly Global energy report and it is showing some interesting developments, market changes, and growth. Today we will explore the data that is presented in the report, and detail as closely as we can. The report was published in March of 2018 with data that has been aggregated from different sectors of the energy industry. The reports key findings are as follows:


  • Global energy demand has increased by 2.1% in 2017, compared to 0.9% in 2016 following the trend of global increase of .9% for the last 5 years.
  • Global energy-related CO2 emissions grew by 1.4% in 2017, reaching a historic high of 32.5 gigatonnes (Gt)
  • Global natural gas demand grew by 3%
  • Global coal demand rose about 1% in 2017, reversing the declining trend seen over the last two years.
  • World electricity demand increased by 3.1%, significantly higher than the overall increase in energy demand

Global energy demand

According to the IEA report, global energy demand grew by 2.1% more than twice the growth rate of 2016 and the prior 5 years. Fossil fuels met 70% of the growth in energy growth all around the world. Natural gas demand increased to a record share of 22% in total energy demand and finally nuclear accounted for 2% of the growth.

Energy and Emission -Fuel Delivery

CO2 emissions

According to the report “Global energy-related Co2 emissions rose by 1.4% in 2017, an increase of 460 million tons (Mt) and reached a historic high of 32.5 Gt.” Last year’s growth came after three years of flat emissions and contrasts with the sharp reduction needed to meet the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change.”

Energy and Emission -Fuel Delivery

The increase in carbon emissions is a direct result of the 3.7% global economic growth, lower fossil fuel prices, and weaker energy efficiency efforts. These three factors were the main contributors to pushing up global energy demand by 2.1%, however, the emission growth trend was not universal. Although many major economies saw a rise in carbon emissions, some others experienced declines, such as the United States, the United Kingdoms, Mexico, and Japan.

Of all of the countries in emission decline, the biggest came from the United States by 0.5% or 25 million tons of CO2, marking the 3rd consecutive year of emission decline. In the United Kingdom, emissions dropped by 3.8% or 15 million tons to 350Mt, the lowest level on record since 1960. A continued shift away from coal towards gas led to a 19% drop in coal demand in Mexico, and emissions dropped by 4%.

Energy and Emission -Fuel Delivery

Global Oil demand has risen by 1.5 million barrels a day (MB/d) since 2016. Since the price of oil dropped in 2014 there has been a trend of strong growth. The rate of growth in 2017 was 1.6% was much higher than the average annual growth rate of 1% seen over the past decade.

The IEA report contains more information on emission and alternative energy statistics. You can find the full report here. We hope you have found something valuable in our summary of the IEA report. If you would like to see more content that pertains to energy, oil, and our industry then consider subscribing to the SC Fuels blog.



-The SC Fuels Team.

Store your lubes like a pro!

Lubricants- Lubricant delivery


Maintaining the quality of your oils, greases, and other lubricants is important to the longevity of your vehicle or machine. Contaminates, Gelation and exposure will ruin any store of lubricants, so are you doing all you can to combat them? The tendency of oil to gel at specific temperatures and with certain contaminants isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, this property has been used in cleaning up spilled oil, particularly oils spilled in large bodies of water. The Environmental Protection Agency employs “gelling agents” to form gels in spilled oil while not reacting with the water. These agents are blended into the oil slick through mechanical agitation or through the action of the waves in the body of water. Once the oil gels, the agents can then be easily removed by skimming or any other form of separation.

Gelation of oil comes from links between macromolecular chains that result in the formation of branched polymer structures with a solubility that depends on the chemical nature of the starting materials. As more and more of these chains form, the solubility of the compound decreases. This is the process of gelation the slow accumulation of molecular chains that make oil insoluble. Several mechanisms are involved in the acceleration of the gelation process.  One being temperature and the other being contaminates. Here are some storage and handling tips from the industry professionals to keep your lubes in prime condition.

Lubricants- Lubricant delivery

According to a Mobil technical article “Drums, pails, and cans of lubricants from virtually all suppliers are leak proof and clearly labeled with a brand name and type of lubricant inside. Careless handling, however, can cause leaks, contamination of the contents, and smudge, tear, or otherwise damage the labels. The 55-gallon drum is the most common lubricant container used by industry. Care is the key to safe drum handling. A full drum weighs about 450 lbs and, if handled carelessly, can injure workers or damage plant property. Do not unload drums by dropping them from the delivery truck or freight car to the ground or unloading dock. The drum’s seams can be punctured or burst, resulting in a hazardous spill situation.”

Greases are oil that has been thickened. Greases were created because liquid based lubricants do not remain at the point of application. Grease has a tendency to bleed while in storage. The ammount of bleed increases with time and, generally, with temperature. Up to a 5 percent bleed rate is considered acceptable. Contaminants can deteriorate grease performance. If containers are not tightly sealed, contaminants may enter the stored product. So how do you go about protecting and storing them? Like most materials, lubricating grease gradually will deteriorate with time. The rate and degree of deterioration depends on the storage and handling conditions to which the grease is exposed.

Lubricants- Lubricant delivery

According to Machinery Lubrication magazine “Always store grease in its original packaging and keep the container closed until it is time for it to be used. Wipe the lid or cover of the container before opening and always use clean tools and dispensing equipment when handling or pumping the grease. After use, the container should be closed immediately and kept closed. Before placing the lid back onto the container, wipe off any dust, dirt or excess grease that may have accumulated.”

What changes or steps will you take to ensure your lubes are safely stored? let us know in the comments below, and consider subscribing for more information on the ever-changing world of the fuel industry



-The SC Fuels Team