Heating oil prices are affected by seasonal demands, changes in the cost of crude oil, competition in markets and operating costs. The price consumers pay differs over time and depends on where they live.
Oil prices are higher in the winter when demand is higher due to the cold weather. Supply and demand affect the cost of crude oil. The amount of competitors in a local market can affect the price level of heating oil. Prices are often higher in rural areas because there tends to be fewer competitors and because the cost of delivering heating oil tends to be higher.