The natural gas industry may want you to think so but as the price of heating oil continues to drop, it is now cheaper to heat with oil heat than natural gas. Last year heating oil prices were $3 or more per gallon. This year they are half. Oil currently goes for about $1.80/g for 100 gallons. That’s expected to continue to at least 2017.

EIA releases its weekly oil inventory report every Wednesday and this week was no different than others in the recent past. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 3.4 million barrels from the previous week.

At 480.0 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories remain near levels not seen for this time of year in at least the last 80 years.

See all recent EIA reports here

In other words, the US market is significantly oversupplied and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down the oil drillers. Although oil rig count is currently half of what it was last year, oil inventories are climbing, and the US continues to import oil from overseas.

Another factor is the possibility of Iran joining the oil market again, producing and exporting even more oil. In addition, other factors such as world and economic events impact oil prices as well.

In recent past a gas company was caught advertising significant savings for customers who switch to natural gas while comparing oil prices from last year. The ad for Southern Connecticut Gas flashes a quote for heating oil, $3.78. Next, comes the comparison of natural gas, $2.20. Then the ask: Contact us to switch from oil to gas.

After a reporter called asking about the $3.78 figure Southern Connecticut Gas said it reviewed recent heating oil prices and decided to take down the ad.

All indications are that heating oil prices will continue to decline and stay low well into the winter, and this type of false information will bait consumers into making bad decisions to convert to gas that will cost them thousands of dollars or more, and it’s unknown whether that cost can be recuperated in the next few years.

Check average oil prices for Long Island here