Nova Scotians are paying less for furnace oil this winter than last.

According to Natural Resources Canada, the average price of furnace oil this time last year in Halifax was 102.3 cents per litre, compared to this week's price of 81.5 — a drop of about 20 per cent. 

That means Haligonians are saving more than $200 when they fill a 1,000-litre tank.

Overall, Haligonians have paid about 10 cents less per litre than the Canadian average over the past year, according to Natural Resources. The national average this week is 91.5 cents per litre.

CBC News called furnace oil suppliers across the province and found that on Feb. 10, prices ranged from a low of 67.9 cents per litre at a handful of retailers in the Halifax area, to 86.9 cents per litre at some in New Glasgow and Yarmouth. 

The range in prices is caused by several factors, including where you live and what services a supplier may offer. 

For instance, the price for heating oil in Halifax ranged from 67.9 cents per litre to 86.9 cents per litre on Feb. 10, depending on the supplier and the location of delivery.

Also, more remote areas tend to pay more for heating oil. After calling more than two-dozen oil suppliers, CBC found those in Yarmouth, New Glasgow and Whycocomagh had the highest prices.

What's behind this year's price drop? 

Collapsing world petroleum prices have helped chop the cost of fuel for many Maritimers this winter — New Brunswick is enjoying the cheapest winter heating season in six years. 

Oil prices have dropped dramatically since mid-2014 when it sold for more than $100 a barrel. On Thursday, West Texas Intermediate slid as low as $26.19 US, the lowest price since 2003. Brent Crude is hovering around $30.

However, it's not clear how long the cheap oil trend will last. 

In a report released last month, the National Energy Board said crude oil prices are expected to rise to more than $100 US a barrel by 2040.