Help drop gas prices

lariat1lariat1 Member Posts: 461
I was thinking about the recent gouging that is
going on by the petroleum industry and I figured I
would try to do something so after paying $40 for
25 gals of fuel I went home and did some research
and found out it only costs the industry 73 cents
to make 1 gal of gas and somewhere along the line
it ends up costing $1.80. Then I did some more
research and found this:

Last year on April 30,1999, a gas out was staged
across Canada and the U.S. to bring the price of
gas down, and it worked! It's time to do something
about it again.

Only this time lets make it for three days instead
of just one. The
so-called oil cartel decided to slow production to
drive up gasoline
prices. Lets see how many Canadian\American people
we can get to band together for a three day period
those three days.

LET`S HAVE A GAS OUT!. Do not buy any gasoline
from APRIL 7, 2000,
THROUGH APRIL 9, 2000. Buy what you need before
the dates listed
above, or after, but try not to buy any during the
GAS OUT. If you want to help, just send this to
everyone you know and ask them to do the same.
We brought the prices down once before, and we can
do it again.

Come on North America, lets stand together.

Even if you receive this 100 times keep passing it
around, this way
you know everyone is being informed and no one

I am sure it will work if it gets around enough I
know several people who have gotten this in the
mail. If enough people get it and do it together
we can drop gas prices. It is time that we stop
accepting high gas prices and tell the oil
companies we have had enough!!!!!!


  • superjim2000superjim2000 Member Posts: 314
    lets hope it works
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    All that means is everyone will either stock up on the 6th or be running on fumes on the 10th. The same amount of fuel will be consumed over the same period of time.

    Now if you have everyone not drive ANYWHERE for an extended period of time, cancel vacations, not go to work(yea right!) MAYBE you could make a dent. I doubt it though, this country is totally dependent on oil.
  • jtedjted Member Posts: 17
    Out of the 1.80 that you pay 18.8 is Federal Tax and here in Wisconsin it's about 28.0 so it' 46.8 cents just in tax out of 147.9 that I paid this afternoon, so gas is 101.1 per Gallon.Plus their is a profit of about 6 cents for the stations.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    Gas is still cheap. If it stayed at 1.50/gal it would be cheaper than pre-73.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    and North American gas is taxed less than most places. I moan about paying more here in Canada than you guys in the states, but my relatives in the UK are paying the equivalent of $5 US per gallon and the difference is all tax.
  • cdeancdean Member Posts: 1,110
    I think the point is, we can still get down to the prices we are used to by doing what it takes, which means changing a few habits. carpool to lunch, or cancel that sunday drive (does anyone still do that?). a little effort by everyone makes a big difference.

    fact is, all they are doing is turning down the valve and cutting back supply. they could open up the valve if they wanted to, and drop prices in half.

    I say everyone who can, try the gas out and see what happens!
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    That in North America alone

    Suppliers <100
    Consumers >100 million

    Needs one hell of a drop in demand before anyone starts noticing!!
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Andy, I am practicing gasoline consersvation by simply not driving my Quad. Where is my Quad?

  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    I think I may soon be suffering a similar fate - I wish Jaguar would learn that radiators are supposed to work - who knew????
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    Gas is still cheap. Have I said that before? The same people that cry about gas prices don't bat an eye when buying an over-priced SUV that sucks gas like oxygen.
    Sorry cdean, my week-end rides on the pony will never stop. It's nice riding cycles though, 40-45 mpg depending on which bike I take out!! Hell, Gas could rise to 5 dollars a gallon and it still wouldn't hamper my hobby.

    Side note: Yes. The oil companies are whores but is gas really that expensive? Seriously??
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    didn't realize that made me a whore.

    Get your facts straight before you start a 'Topic' & a debate you can't possibly defend (or win). Your point is ludicrous, your 'facts' incomplete. What business are you in? Whatever it is I guess we'll all just have to have a 'lariat1 product - out' if the price goes up or whatever, ad nauseum.

    I'm not slamming your business (whatever it is) or anyone else's, but notice how your temperature 'rose' a little when you read the preceding paragraph. Now imagine hearing this crap for 20 &%&^$* years! I've heard it for decades. All I'm trying to do is the same thing as you (all): Feed my family, pay my taxes and 'possibly' make enough money to retire with a 'moderate' lifestyle by age 70 to 75. Problem is, we as a nation believe all the garbage the politicians & press shove down our throats year after year. Doesn't ANYONE question their intentions? I do! And I know EXACTLY why the bastards do what they do. I've paid very close attention to their motivation(s). But off of that - it's a whole other can of worms. If anyone cares, I'll talk about it separately sometime.

    But this discussion (subject) really boils down to perception, reality and the mechanics of the petroleum industry. And our energy needs.

    What you perceive to be everyone's problem: high gasoline prices, is fundamentally correct but slightly skewed. --Note: I don't call gasoline 'gas' or 'fuel' I'll explain why a bit later.-- So back to gasoline. Most people don't know how incredibly expensive it is to find commercial oil deposits in this country:

    - Very few drilled wells are commercially viable. One in ten wildcats. One in four step-outs. One in two in-fill wells. If a step-out well costs $200k to drill to 6,000 ft. & a decent zone is discovered to produce 50 bopde (barrels oil per day equivalent - meaning oil AND/OR nat. gas) then great, we make 'some' money.
    But let's break down the process a bit. First we have to look at reams of data, maps, seismic, etc. to narrow down where to drill. Then we have to get permission through leases, state govts. etc. to drill. We give up a normal 18 to 25 % OFF THE TOP (full 100% dollars) to the above mentioned (the people who get the EASY MONEY (mineral owners, state & Fed. govts. & promoters) -- if you're pissed off at ANYONE, it should be them!-- after that we have to line up an operator (who usually takes a 10% or better 'piece' to become the operator) + fair number of vendors to do the actual work. Then we have to sell the deal to people (like you) who want to make a decent roi (return on investment). Now the people are all lined up, the vendors ready and the money banked. What's next? All the risk my friend. You'll have better odds of success in Vegas. Or Wall Street.
    So we 'make' this 50 bopde well and we're rich, right? WRONG! We get whatever % of our investment X 80% nri (the net revenue to us, the working interest owners). But that's ok we still make lots of money, right? WRONG! We have an operator + office & field people to feed, clothe, house, etc., etc. Utility bills to pay. Taxes are taken out (unbelievable amounts). Insurance & other admin. fees to pay. Environmental expenses are getting huge, too. But we still make some money don't we? Maybe. You see that 50 bbl well is 50 for the first month or two. Then it starts its decline. Sure the well may have a 50k barrel cumulative ([non-permissible content removed]- pronounced 'kyoum,' rhymes with room) and we get 6:1 gross roi or about 4:1 after expenses & royalties. But that's maybe over 15 or more years. Plus, we have surface equipt. & lots of downhole maintenance. Then we have to pay to plug & abandon the well. Plus, we have to fully develop the leasehold (our acreage that we leased in the first place), usually by drilling a well EVERY 180 days after the first one is completed until we quit for dry holes or we run out of money - or we lose the rest of our acreage investment (substantial at 50-500 bucks per acre + yearly rentals for the acreage on top of that). Anyway, IF everything goes perfect we stand to make a fair % (50-75%?) of what we could've made in oh, say the stock market or a good real estate venture. So why don't we invest in those? Most people do. We used to get (& still get a little) tax advantage here & there for having put our (& your) hard earned cash in the ground for a little thing called 'energy independence.' Which we don't have anymore. And might not have again. More on that later, too.

    Prices for our 50 bbls per day? The BS you see on TV about oil prices with that smirky little toad of an 'anchor' on your evening news is fiction:
    You and I, for our well, do not get the 'futures prices' they post all over TV Land. Those are commodities prices set by commodities brokers for commodities' trader's profits. Pure & simple. We get paid the posted price or something like 2-3 bucks per barrel less than you see on TV (and that's averaged over the month. We NEVER get a one or two day spike price). Oh, and that's AFTER we get hit with transportation fees (about a $1 per barrel). More pain? Sure why not, we also have the btu (British Thermal Unit) factoring. Yep, that's correct. We take a hit. Once again WHO'S getting the easy money? By now, my friend you ought to be ballistic. Everyone who 'hasn't' invested a #^%$#^%@ dime of his/her money in our well has made ALL the gravy. So what about us? What about the poor investors? In your first paragraph you nailed it: I believe you called it the petroleum industry - that friend, is you and me, the stockholders - WE are the petroleum industry. I know this to be an ABSOLUTE FACT because I've personally been laid off from two of these 'publically' owned companies run (ruined?) by accountants & lawyers from the non-oil sector - they do business on the IMMEDIATE bottom line (share price); not 'oil' people from TX, NM, Okla. or anywhere else who looked at future reserves & supply / demand factors like we used to thirty years ago (& back) --So don't tell me the 'facts' that you dug up in your 'research.' I'm a professional researcher by degree & training & I've forgotten more than you'll ever know about the petroleum industry: I'll clean your clock with facts, Jack!-- Note: I said MY industry, NOT yours. I figure your business is your business. Leave me alone with mine / quid pro quo.
    Now - back to our 'get rich deal.' Actually, we get paid (or WE PAY FURTHER if the posted price of oil at this point is below our lift cost (about 10-15 bucks per barrel). How can this be? Don't we MAKE money on our investment? We do if we found the money on the sidewalk or sold drugs to get it. Otherwise we have that little thing called the 'investment' to consider. Remember that lil ol $200k that we put in to this thing? The same $200k that we pulled OUT of some other % making arena in order to 'get rich' in the oil business. It accounts for the $10 - 15 'baseline' we work from. Oh, and by the way. If decide to just shut the wells in -- no kidding, lariat1, back when the rest of the country was gloating over $1 per gallon (or less) prices at the pump, some a/h's (very few) in the oil business thought we should 'shut the wells in' to prove we were in serious trouble. Thought it would teach everyone a lesson. Problem is, Clinton would've called in the National Guard to keep that from happening. 500,000+ jobs have been permanently lost in the domestic industry since 1982. Fact.

    On to refining (referred to as 'downstream' production):
    We get paid. A refiner or two gets our crude. He runs this raw crude through a frac(turing) process which effectively cooks & 'cracks' the molecular structure of the hydrocarbon chains into various light to heavy components (ethane, methane, propane, butane, pentane, hexane to name a few). At this point (or very near) the 'lights' go one way and the 'heavies' go another for further processing into plastics, fuel oils, etc. Jet fuels to heavy lubricating oils to plastics: it all happens here or just beyond where additives come into play. So our crude has come into this mega million dollar refinery, been broken down into components and a small percentage of that is destined to be further (expensively) processed and then sent to the gas station, after the wholesaler takes his cut. Anyway now your .73 cent gallon of gas is at the pump. When pumped the dealer gets his (paltry) .6 the 'oil companies' get their .73 so where's the rest go. Right! Back in our very own pockets. Say what! Didn't you know that? That's what Congress tells us. They tell us how we get all that tax money back by being 'good' and 'fair.' They tell us to keep our (not just I/states) highway speeds below certain levels (even in Montana, Nevada & W. TX where they don't mean squat), and we must keep our schools 'fully' integrated even though few people want their kids bussed for 2 hours a day. Public buildings (expensively) modified & maintained for fully handicapped access - even if no handicap person ever uses it. Etc. Etc. Etc. Laws & regulations for everything under the sun accounts for OVER 60% of the pump price. Hell's bells' man, who do you think had to pay for all of the R&D on unleaded gasolines: Reformulated gasolines for Calif.: Reformulated Diesels for ? Etc. Etc. Etc. That's right the 'gouging... petroleum industry' I believe you called it (me).

    I tell you what lariat1, you take your job, house, pension, belongings etc., bundle em up, and I'll swap MINE item for item 'RIGHT HERE; RIGHT NOW!.' All of it. Everything I own for everything you own (sight unseen). Only thing is, you'll have to assume the debts I've accrued over the past 15 years while you and your whiny buddies have been joyriding on 'my' $16.50 per barrel oil (with my above explained lift cost I 'made' about .10 to .15 on my $1 investment) at about a buck a gallon at the pump (ave. price for last 15 years, and
    didn't realize that made me a whore.

    Get your facts straight before you start a 'Topic' & a debate you can't possibly defend (or win). Your point is ludicrous, your 'facts' incomplete. What business are you in? Whatever it is I guess we'll all just have to have a 'lariat1 product - out' if the price goes up or whatever, ad nauseum.

    I'm not slamming your business (whatever it is) or anyone else's, but notice how your temperature 'rose' a little when you read the preceding paragraph. Now imagine hearing this crap for 20 &%&^$* years! I've heard it for decades. All I'm trying to do is the same thing as you (all): Feed my family, pay my taxes and 'possibly' make enough money to retire with a 'moderate' lifestyle by age 70 to 75. Problem is, we as a nation believe all the garbage the politicians & press shove down our throats year after year. Doesn't ANYONE question their intentions? I do! And I know EXACTLY why the bastards do what they do. I've paid very close attention to their motivation(s). But off of that - it's a whole other can of worms. If anyone cares, I'll talk about it separately sometime.

    But this discussion (subject) really boils down to perception, reality and the mechanics of the petroleum industry. And our energy needs.

    What you perceive to be everyone's problem: high gasoline prices, is fundamentally correct but slightly skewed. --Note: I don't call gasoline 'gas' or 'fuel' I'll explain why a bit later.-- So back to gasoline. Most people don't know how incredibly expensive it is to find commercial oil deposits in this country:

    - Very few drilled wells are commercially viable. One in ten wildcats. One in four step-outs. One in two in-fill wells. If a step-out well costs $200k to drill to 6,000 ft. & a decent zone is discovered to produce 50 bopde (barrels oil per day equivalent - meaning oil AND/OR nat. gas) then great, we make 'some' money.
    But let's break down the process a bit. First we have to look at reams of data, maps, seismic, etc. to narrow down where to drill. Then we have to get permission through leases, state govts. etc. to drill. We give up a normal 18 to 25 % OFF THE TOP (full 100% dollars) to the above mentioned (the people who get the EASY MONEY (mineral owners, state & Fed. govts. & yes it's CORRECT - go check, you need to). But while you were out doing that so nonchalantly, I watched real estate, burgers, air travel, salaries (but NOT petroleum related jobs), bottled water, etc. double, triple or quadruple (or worse) in price. But that's OK, because the greedy, arrogant, manipulative oil industry that we are fueled much of Reaganomics (which we coasted through the Clinton 'demonstration' on) while gasoline stayed about the same so you could drive 'cheap.' And you all sleep walked through it. Now reserves are down, few people are left who can (or are willing) to find it. And even fewer who see it as an investment. Gee, wonder who's making all the 'easy' money now? OPEC? The US Congress? Dan Rather? -- I bring him up, because good 'Texan' that he is (barely, he was born in El Paso), he constantly gloats over his home state's oil economy driven demise.-- puppet that he is.

    The main reason 'we' stay in this business isn't patriotism or money or security: it's excitement. Show me anybody in the oil business that tells you otherwise, and I'll show you a DAMNED LIAR (or a fool), and you can quote me on it! Prospects? We have everything to lose, all the time. We have 'some' to gain, usually. We have, if we stay in this business long enough (or can last in my case) a very slim chance of 'hitting' it big and making a couple of hundred thou maybe once or twice in a forty year career. I've been in it for 20 years and it's happened to me once. Of course I risked it all and had to start over. But what other business lets you do that, and more importantly RESPECTS you for your FAILURES. You people ought to be cheering us on, because the next thing you'll likely be doing is paying OPEC prices and watching Mosques go up in your home towns. I'm not kidding, it's on the way. And unstoppable, unless:

    Let's talk about a real and lasting solution to your (our) gasoline problem (dependence). It all boils down to anotherside of the business. The petroleum industry has a simple solution AT HAND (actually in the ground) and it flows through pipelines in most of the cities in the US. What is it? Natural Gas. We've got oil for 100 years of current usage levels and 10 years out forecasted consumption (known, probable & projected worldwide supplies of ooip - original oil in place). Natural Gas supplies? I haven't got a clue. There's so much of the stuff found & undiscovered I wouldn't hazard a guess. And this, after we flared untold trillions (with a t) of cubic feet of the stuff before the mid 60's when venting was banned. Why? Because the petroleum industry was greedy ond malicious? Nope. Because of the 'evil price gouging of the public by the major oil companies?' Nope. Then why did we vent this (now) valuable resource? What evil could have created this loss to humanity? Simple. At less than a nickel per mcf it had no value. It was in the way (of oil). No one wanted it. Certainly not the (now) politically & environmentally conscious E / NE US. No, they were too busy using coal & fuel oils that were in place under their feet to worry about a future crisis. Does this make them 'evil' to the people who work in the oil business? Shouldn't we have 'ALGORE' look into this, call Congressional hearings and flail them for their stupidity? Of course not. They were practical. They had their own energy source close at hand and used it for their own needs. So what? Who cares? Water under the bridge. Just like petroleum 50 years later. And if we're lucky, and vote right (for once) and let the 'free' market work for itself (for a change) and everything goes just right, then maybe, just maybe we'll all be running cng (compressed natural gas) in our CURRENT engines and have enough of the stuff to last for generations. What we don't have, the Canadians do; and by golly, guess what? They don't belong to OPEC. Last I heard Bush SR. had something called NAFTA pushed through Congress. Should help here. Ya think?

    Just a few basics:
    (1) petroleum based products are not renewable sources of energy - when they're gone, adios.
    (2) what we do find is fairly practical - though not perfect - as an energy source for our needs
    (3) perfect would be natural gas - currently deregulated in most markets - at a low price
    (4) better would be the natural gas we currently burn in our homes and businesses and cng that would burn in our cars & trucks as a;
    a - very clean burning
    b - high btu (about 80% efficiency of gasoline)
    c - plentiful
    d - OPEC can't 'ship' this stuff easily
    e - relatively 'cheap' to produce & purchase
    f - dual use fuel (switchable, unlike diesel)
    g - lots & lots of etcetara's

    Final thought lariat1: If I ever and I mean EVER trash the industry you've spent your life in and devoted nearly every waking moment from early childhood (my dad ran Gulf Oil's Production Div. here in W TX) on, you have my permission to 'shred me to the gills' if I make the biased, carelessly inflammatory and downright insulting comments I read about the Petroleum Industry in your post - it's a whole Topic no less! Words mean things. They're important, or should be to all concerned. I'm concerned: It's way past time to quit 'bashing' & 'trashing' like little boys in school yards and take responsibility for our actions and correct our FUTURE actions. In other words we have failed with our 'non-energy policy' / let's fail forward & correct this mistake - NOW.

    I've just explained the tip of this iceberg (price 'problem,' cause & effect), 90% of this sucker's still not in view, yet. Start thinking and voting 'right.' Not left. It's up to us all, or it's over for all of us.

    Engage brain, then open mouth.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    I had plenty of respect for themacguy before - now it is even more!

    Congratulations on a good explanation - it is easy for anyone to slam what they don't fully understand - we have all suffered at some point from perception not really telling the true facts - whether it is a review of your favourite sports team, a comment from someone at work or whatever.

    Congratulations also for the longest post I have ever seen at Edmunds!!!

    I guess there isn't much chance of you letting me have any cheap 'gas' then??? :-)
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    I'm paying $1.59.9 (cheapest decent fuel I can find) to $1.89.9 (ave. 89 oct prices here) at the pump just like the rest of you guys, and it's refined 30 mins. from here - I most definitely feel your pain. By the way I intentionally left the post out in the open - not 'hidden.' Everybody has a pain threshold; mine's just been found. That said, anyone wanting to know EXACTLY how the petroleum industry works from the inside out - e:mail me. I'll be glad to 'enlighten' you all.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    Hear! Hear!

  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230

    Most excellent post! That whole "petroleum industry conspiracy" sounded like a certain First Lady spouting out about her poor husband being attacked by the vicious "right wing conspiracy". Yeah, lets strike the gas stations for three days. Guess what, it's not going to do a thing but make long lines at the pump on the fourth day. Yeah, it's frustrating that a group of people in the middle-east control a large amount of crude volume and price. But things would be a heck of a lot better if we took care of our own business here at home.

    First of all, (themacguy, maybe you can help me with this) how much of the oil used in this country is for electricity generation? If we hadn't let the damn envirnomentalists, who use NO science in their arguments, scuttle the nuclear industry (by far the most clean, efficient source of electricity), we would have to import that much less oil. Sure the industry needed to advance their plants for better safety and waste disposal, but name an industry or technology that does not have to evolve to be more efficient and safe.

    Secondly, if we hadn't let the environmentalists (who claimed that oil rigs ruin fish habitat while fishermen in the gulf go to rigs for tuna/bonita/mackeral and those off california go to them for calico bass/yellowtail/etc) stopped new drilling off california, who knows how much oil we would be producing there.

    Thirdly, if environmentalists studied and pushed for ways to minimize the negative impact of oil exploration at ANWAR, instead of trying to ban any exploration there, we would be producing that much more.

    But no, these aren't the solutions. We supposedly need to bring down the evil corporate world. I'll never understand why we need to tax the heck out of corporations when CEOs, secrataries, employees, and stockholders all have to pay income tax when the corporation makes a profit anyway. All it causes is unnecessary spending on items and services and robbing reserves of funds from future needs.

    The real problem is that the Leaders of the Left have effectively managed to take the profits of industry, and at the same time led the masses to believe those institutions that employ and drive the economy are the enemy. We have already heard how much the goverment gets out of every dollar spent on gasolene. It's even worse with tobacco, where the gov gets like $0.80 on the dollar. And while Clinton/Gore claim that the Republicans only care about the rich, they are the ones taxing the heck out of the poor, who spend so much of their hard earned money on tobacco tax. While I'm not a big fan of the tobacco industry, I have to wonder who is more evil.

    For some reason, the high-tech industry is looked at favorably right now, and government has not got significantly in their way, and that's why Cisco, just today, become the second most valuable company in the world (passing up the giant GE). Four of the top five are high tech: 1) Microsoft, 2) Cisco, 3)GE, and 4) Intel. While it's nice to see the rise of new industry, it is ridiculous to drag down the foundation of our economy. But watch out high tech, all that money is too enticing for the politicians to leave alone, just ask Bill Gates.

    So, themacguy, hold in there, you have friends out here.
  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    One other thing, I have been following the news on the new fuel being developed using natural gas (and I guess they can derive it from coal, also) called Syntroleum. I guess this is a liquid fuel with similar combustion properties compared to diesel, but with no sulfer. Dodge ran it in the cummins in their powerwagon. Texaco, enron, etc. have backed the research. Sounds like the technology is there, but it is financially tough when crude prices are below about $25 per barrel. I was wondering if you know anything about this, and what you think the prospects are.
  • lariat1lariat1 Member Posts: 461
    good point but I will ask you this question I live 1 mile away from a refinery and 500 yards from the trans Alaska pipeline it would seem that there would be a surplus of oil in the area where I live (North Pole Alaska) the population here is 1500 87 octane gas is 1.90 a gal explain that to me. Here is another one the owners of the pipeline (ARCO and BP) have been cutting back on volume because they say it is not profitable to produce more, (wait a minute the price of oil has doubled and they are still cutting back) Let me ask you a question about your oil companies with "good" intensions what did Henry ZFord design his vehicles to use for fuel... If you failed out of history the answer is alcohol, gasoline wasn't used for a whole lot back then(can you think of anything that uses gasoline other than cars?) do you know who persuaded Ford to use gas? It was Rockafeller, yes the guy who owned all the oil, How about another question why is it that it is more profitable for ARCO and BP to burn off all of the natural gas on the north slope of Alaska than to pipe it down to the rest of the world and sell it?
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    Some of the best I've heard from a non-oil (?) person. I'll answer as best (simple as) I can. On the refinery issue. It stinks don't it! You'd think you could get some relief by living as near one as you and I both do. Well, what the refiner's do is make certain mixes or 'blends' with their base stocks & additives for very different markets (climates, altitude, etc.). Seems certain blends -- different alcohol % contents mostly -- work better in different parts of the world. Porsche used to specify Shell as the fuel of choice for racing ANY of their products. Why? Shell used more fuel (base stock); fewer additives. Higher compression Porsches loved the stuff. 'Leaner' fuels 'cavitated' at high induction rates effectively starving the engines. Porsche wins lots of races. I used Shell in mine. Of course these days everybody has additives. Therein lies one of your problems: you're probably not getting much fuel from that particular refinery for your area. Or you are just on the tailend (due to low demand or population density) of the wholesaler's route, etc. Or you could be just getting 'gouged' because the wholesaler can screw you. Another possibility is that your particular refiner's output is setup for shipping to much larger markets. Still another is that expenses for moving the stuff back and forth is high (your are pretty far up there). Of course everything in Alaska & Hawaii is higher. You guys got the vote, so why don't you just change politicians? Texas voters did, and it's working pretty damned well so far.

    As to 'cutbacks' by majors; it probably has to do with flow rates from fields. You do have some hellacious pressures in those wellbores up there. The idea being that more is not necessarily better. Plus, the gas rates -- this will answer the flaring question -- have a lot to do with the flow ability of 'oil.' All drive mechanisms for an oil reservoir (which don't form in 'pools' - they form in near solid rock resembling cement by the way) are water & (a smidgen) gas based. Normally, gas is on oil which 'sits' atop the water in a given reservoir (going from top to bottom). Simple physics. So gas sometimes is flared in a given situation for days weeks, months or (in extreme cases) years in order to get the oil out wisely & 'economically.' The states regulate ALL of that (prod.). I believe your state votes a little left of center usually, politically, so that argument is out. Your state legislators wouldn't stand to be shorted on their (outrageous in Alaska) petroleum taxes. Not for a NYC minute. So they'll have the oil co. sell 100% of every drop of oil they can produce up to the point of damaging the reservoir by overproduction - the state has geol. / eng., too. Sometimes even looking out for overtaxed producers.

    You see, 'pulling' a well too hard (too high a flow or pump rate) causes the water to enter the perfs (perforations), and once the connate water (formation water trapped in the pore spaces) 'hits' those perfs, it's bye-bye to production. Very difficult, if not impossible to recover from this situation - it's much better to avoid.

    On to the - why? - of gasoline in the first place. You've made some good points here. The basic answer is the same as any industry. Right circumstances (new, cheap transport: Fords); opportunist 'handy' (Rockefeller) with the (his) solution of oil. Since you brought it up (yeah, I know a little history, too) let's talk about analogies. Microsoft being the opportunist it is --certainly inferior to others where software is concerned; second to none in strong arming competition with their marketing 'abilities'-- IBM & Intel (both with dated tech. products, but great marketing clout) being just the right circumstances for Mr. Bill to exploit. Simple, pure genius - just like Rockefeller. Same is true of railroads, the industrial revolution, little farms gobbled up by conglomerates, and on & on. Circumstances; opportunists. I believe it's referred to as 'free market economics.' Now, for the record I think Rockefeller, Gates and other monopolizers are brilliant business types, but I most certainly agree with you that they were / are at their best, exploitationists; and at their worst, 'jerks.' They simply lack people skills. But alas John D. didn't own 'all' the oil or I wouldn't have any (a little humor). Anyway, his downfall, as you'll remember was using the railroads to strongarm purchasers from getting his competition's oil products. THAT was what brought him down. And it should've. THAT was pure greed. Bad thing. Broke up his company. Never was the same. However, that breakup was what brought REAL competition into the petroleum market place. so his bad deed got punished, and an industry was borne.

    And by the way, gasoline is just one component (and creation) of the hydrocarbon cracking process. Anyone been hearing of hydrogen fuel cell technology? Guess where the 'hydro' in hydrocarbon comes from. Yep. You're not done with the mean old oil companies by a long shot with fuel cell usage either. Electric? Where you gonna get the energy to generate it? Wind? In 100 years - maybe. Solar? Inefficient. Rivers? Tapped. Uh Oh. Looks like oil & natural gas. Again. Get used to it.

    By the way (history again), I'm sure you remember the fight over AC / DC electricity as the 'standard' in the US. I believe DC was just barely late to the table (although it was better, safer in every way than AC) due to politics and an 'opportunist' (Edison?) shutting out (Bell? or) whoever the 'famous' inventor of DC was. He/they blocked a generator type from getting into, I believe, NYC or Jersey's newly formed electric service or grid by making a component or two unavailable to the Direct Current group. I'm sure that single decision has already ultimately 'killed' more citizens in this country due to electrocution than oil usage or its pricing probably ever will.

    And I totally agree that it is INSANE to burn off or flare any slope gas when it should be used as your primary energy source. We did it in the lowere 48 because nobody wanted it (or had the foresight to get people to want it). You might consider putting your thoughts / energy into an effort that would make Alaska a 'near total' exporter of its petro based products. Burn all that natural gas in your homes / businesses and use cng in your vehicles - definitely would cut down on some of your cold start problems & overall vehicle expense. Plus, you could export more of each to us and basically 'get your price.' You'd certainly be my hero if you could pull it off. I'm just not sure Alaska's eco-guys (by the way I'm a TX & NM certified environmentalist / hydrologist), who haven't really got the picture when it comes to economics (other than their own), are going to ever let that happen. Very unfortunate for ya'll.

    Although maybe not detailed enough, I hope these little 'novels' help, you sure have some good questions - and some better concerns... :-)

    ps - you actually LIVE near the North Pole? What in the world do people do to make a living there?
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    I've been invited by some nationally syndicated (300+ stations) talk show host-type to be on his program this Friday a/noon at 2pm CST - defending petroleum companies & recent 'prices.' We asked if he would reciprocate & go with us to Texaco or Exxon et al and defend (on their websites for the record so to speak) radio & TV ad price hikes & 'escalations.' He just laughed. He at least has a sense of humor I guess. I'm sure they plan on nuking me... won't let that happen for sure.

    His name (show name as well, I guess) is Jerry ? something or other (NO not Springer, Falwell, etc.) - just can't remember at the moment. I'm working on a couple of things I didn't have handy that might answer your question(s). Get back to you soon as I can. And any other questions anyone has, let me know. I'll do my best...
  • DaggettDaggett Member Posts: 23
    I'll admit that I don't know much about this topic other than what I read in Scientific America about 2 years ago. The article was written by some oil exploration experts who predicted that OPEC would re-gain the majority of the worlds oil reserves in the near future and that the US would be in the same predicatment it was in during the 70's "crisis".

    I read the article with mild alarm and went on with life. This discussion has me thinking more about the topic. If the article was correct, we will never again have more oil than OPEC - the oil finding that was done as a result of the 70's crisis pretty much identified the reality of the world's oil reserves. The authors claimed that they knew roughly how much oil the world had and roughly where it is located.

    However, the article indicated that as soon as it became economically feasible, getting oil from oil sands could potentially fix the problem. But for now, it can't be done at a profit. There is a company producing oil this way and improving their technology. Once the price of oil gets high enough the company will eventually be profitable. Apparently North America has a lot of oil sands that would fix the problem for some time once this happens. I wish I could remember the company's name - might be an interesting stock.

    Personally, I like Thermaguys natural gas solution, but I question whether voting for Bush will really be a step in that direction. I would expect that Gore would be more in favor of natural gas as an automotive fuel for environmental reasons. I would also expect that Gore would try to push NE power plants out of the coal business (and possibly into natural gas) for the same reasons. I would expect Bush to be more in favor of staying with the oil industry due to his willingness to take $ and his industry contacts.

    I certainly don't want to start a political discussion, I'm just thinking out loud.
  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    Better off to get the power plants into modern nuclear use. We have the technology to make safe nuclear plants, recycle nuclear waste (as the French and our own military do) by cycling the uranium pellets (first use only utilizes a small amount of the potential energy in the uranium, then the pellets are stored to stabilize after a few years, then re-use the pellets), then encapsulate the pellets in glass and bury them in lead-line coffins. It's safe, it's being done now in other places, and it's clean.

    With nuclear power use - coal, oil, and natural gas can be used in smaller more local applications (industry, homes, cars, etc.). No rivers get dammed, fish runs improve. Smog is reduced. CO2 emmissions reduced. Enough surplus heat and energy can be produced at a local level by nuclear plants to warm streets and sidewalks with waste water, desalinate water, and possibly even produce hydrogen fuel, the most eco-friendly potential fuel that could run our vehicles.

    Just something to think about. Pull our heads out of the sand and look into modern technology with open minds and logic, but still think critically about all options. There is no place on earth with more resources than the US (agriculture, natural gas, oil, coal, etc.), and no place that has more innovative minds. We can reduce petroleum imports with increased domestic production and reduced demand, while still supporting the domestic energy exploration and development industry.
  • zonkzonk Member Posts: 208
    I am not surprised that themacguy is an amateur paleontologist. Working in his field, I would be surprised if he wasn't. I imagine he has some good stories about what he has found in the course of exploring for oil, too.
    He makes a damn good argument to those of us who believe we are being gouged and then try to vent about it. By the way, my wife and her siblings have royalties from an oil lease on some land their dad owned. I think she received $2.50 last year as her portion. (Guess because it was not profitable enough to produce oil from domestic wells at last year's prices.) I went to high school in Wichita Falls, Texas in the mid-late 60's. My guardian's son was in the natural gas business, specifically trying to get people and gas stations to convert their cars to the use of that fuel. He was ahead of his time, I guess. I am not sure that he was able to make it financially back then and had to get into some other field. Even then the investment to change over both cars and pumps was probably daunting. Now its really going to take a good "convincer".
    I guess what makes it bad is that we did not learn enough from the embargo era to seriously design engines, power plants, really tackle alternative energy sources, etc to make them far more efficient than they are today. 25 years or so - have we wasted that time? And then after helping over in the Mid-East not so long ago - just makes it hard for most if us to understand the reasons for some of the pricing.
    I know that we in the States enjoy some of the lowest prices for gasoline in the world, (and I must admit I am human and selfish enough to hope it lasts for a little while longer). But I hope that no politician (Al or dubbya) uses that as a reason for allowing domestic prices to rise to levels seen in Europe as a way of making a political statement. Whew! Talk about a brake on the economy! Greenspan wouldn't need to raise taxes any more. Besides, that would make driving Dodge QCs(and everything else)really expensive to drive.
    Bottom line is I guess we have wasted a lot of time and "energy" since the 70's and I wonder relatively speaking if our technology is that much better off.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    Once again.....Gas is still cheap....

    Have I said that before? ;)


    You play the poor man a little to well. Come on' Are you telling us you didn't shoot JR?? LOL!
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    and I'm there! ;-P
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    Gas may be cheap, it's the trickle down effect I'm worried about. The cost of almost everything will eventually rise as a result of higher fuel costs.
  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    I agree, if there is a push to inflation, it will be the costs for fuel. Meanwhile, Greenspan keeps tinkering with 1/4-point interest rate hikes thinking that will prevent inflation while oil has jumped over 60%. Even .com's have to eventually ship things.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    gwmoore and modvptnl,

    As much as I appreciated Greenspan before, I have to state that I'm not so much in favor of him anymore. Remember that although inflation is being kept "in check"--so is overall growth. I do hope for higher rates this year since it would only hurt Gore but after Pres. Bush takes office--someone should give Allen a beer and tell him to relax. There is too much that is at his disposal.
    I also could care less about the .com companies. They are taking buisness away from regular outfits that contribute much more to their respective local economies. They are getting an unfair advantage at the moment and it's being handed to them on a platter by the Gov't. I don't recall any roofing firm getting such preferential treatment as the .com companies do.
    themackguy is absolutely correct when he rails against the gov't on how they play certain favorites in the corporate world.
  • themacguythemacguy Member Posts: 417
    bubba hath spoke! Everthin's gonna be alwight!

    Looks like a 2.5 million bopd (with cheating by Venezuela) is coming into the US by summer. Hope it helps ya'll, and keeps bubba & algore off my tushy.

    daggett - 'oil sands'?!? No clue. I'll look it up.

    gwmoore 'syntroleum' :-O Have to look it up also.

    Talk show went well coast to coast today - it was the Jerry Hughes show from - I believe - Florida. Most excellent host. Talked to 3 'wackos' & flamed same.

  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    Screw bubba....He needs a good [non-permissible content removed]-kicking.
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    After 30 or more days of inactivity....

    this topic is being "frozen." it will be archived or deleted in the next 10 days or so.

    Front Porch Philosopher
    SUV, Pickups, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host
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