Skip to comments.BIG OIL VS. LITTLE SCOOTER (Reinhard)
Posted on 06/10/2007 9:49:18 AM PDT by jazusamo
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Peter J. Robertson had no idea what he was walking into Tuesday morning.
The vice chairman of Chevron Corp's board of directors was visiting The Oregonian's editorial board, and I had just filled up at the gas station. Like many Oregonians, I was not a happy. I had just spent $3.29 for a gallon of gas. Admittedly, my TNG Milano 49 only needed a gallon for a week of commuting, but this cheapskate didn't join Scooter Nation to watch Big Oil gobble up my gas savings.
I wanted answers, and I wanted them now. More to the point, I wanted someone to blame.
Enter Chevron's Robertson.
Why, sir, are oil industry bosses taking food out the mouths of babes by manipulating the gas prices and gouging the poor American consumer?
" 'Big Oil' is not so big," Robertson said after pulling out a bar chart showing the national oil companies (sovereign nations and their oil companies) and the international oil companies -- Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, etc. The nationals control 95 percent of the world's oil and gas reserves. The international companies control 5 percent.
Iran controls almost 300 billion barrels, Saudi Arabia controls almost as much, and Qatar 160 billion barrels. Chevron controls less than 11.6 billion. Chevron and other oil companies are big companies, but they're small in relation to the global oil market. They're simply in no position to rig oil prices on the world market -- a significant reality because the price of oil accounts for 53 percent of the price of gasoline in the United States. Refining and marketing costs account for 33 percent and, across the country, taxes 15 percent.
Ah, but isn't the oil industry holding back supply?
Actually, he noted, U.S. refineries operate at close to capacity, refining gas at record levels. Indeed, the United States has more than 200,000 barrels a day more capacity today than it did last year.
So, you're sitting there saying the industry is not price fixing? What about all those government investigations?
Yes, there are have been more than 30 since 1973. Not one has concluded the industry manipulated prices.
Why, then, are gas prices so high?
Higher worldwide demand than anyone anticipated, thanks to economic growth in China, India and the United States. Robertson also said the industry is now operating in difficult political environments abroad (Nigeria, Venezuela) while production is more difficult here at home (less and less high-quality material available).
"It's very difficult," he said, "to find places in the United States where you can drill. 'Don't drill here, and we want the cheapest gas in the world' -- that's not possible."
Yeah, but what about Big Oil's obscene profits?
Robertson pulls out another chart. It shows industry by industry earnings for 2006. The oil and natural gas industry made 9.5 cents for each dollar in sales. The computers and electronics made 13.4 cents, the beverage and tobacco industry 17.2 cents and pharmaceuticals and medicine made 21.6 cents.
Again with the charts. Well, why not put those profits back in research and development?
Chevron has. It's posted earnings of $53 billion during the past five years. The amount Chevron has invested in the same period? $53 billion? In 2007, Robertson's quick to note, his company will invest almost $20 billion.
"We're not wheeling cash out the back door in wheelbarrows," he said.
Fine, but you're not investing in alternative fuels, are you?
Actually, Chevron is. "We're the largest geothermal company in the world," Robertson said. He also mentioned Chevron had just cut the ribbon on a new biodiesel plant in Texas that uses soybeans. Chevron has research projects in making gasoline from agricultural waste and wood pulp.
Alternative fuels are the answer, aren't they?
Robertson isn't ready to go that far. They're part of the answer. "One of the problems with the energy business is that people don't appreciate the scale (of production and delivery), so the scale of change is very large, " he said. "The traditional sources are still going to be very important."
I suppose you think the answer is the free market?
"What higher prices are telling us," Robertson said, "is that we need to invest."
What else can we do?
"I think this is a leadership issue," Robertson said. "I think leaders need to be honest with the American people about why prices are higher, not blame a bunch of people for doing business. . . . Nobody's talking about maintaining our oil and gas production. We can't dismiss this issue. As long as our leaders spend their time looking to blame, they're not addressing the issue, which is a complex set of energy issues."
Yeah, well, but, but . . . oh, never mind.
He didn't mention Iraq and Afghanistan. I guess that's because Bush, Cheney, and Rove are controlling it all.
This guy is just spinning for the oil companies. How do you know he isn't making this stuff up?
What about Halliburton?
I'm not a liberal, but I pretend to be one on FR.
Did you stay at a Holiday Inn last night? lol
We are becoming more efficient in it's use and also cleaner.
The next idiot that rages against big oil, ask them what we used before oil was discovered.
Why no mention of W’s weak dollar, or the timely refinery breakdowns?
Get out the tinfoil hat!
Try telling a clueless lib that it not BIG OIL it BIG GOVERMENT
Exactly...And when politicians think they can score some points by pandering for votes they go after them for gouging or try to tax them more which only hurts the consumer.
Some one needs to do an indepth investigation of the oil futures traders on Wall Street.
They are the biggest influence on the price per barrel, IMO. They are getting VERY rich, and they are laughing at us.
Why no mention of Ws weak dollar ...Dude! HUSH! For those who live in Canada yet pay student loans to the states--e.g, me--the weak US dollar is a sign of divine favour. When the Loonie overtakes the dollar--which it is predicted to do in the next 8 to 12 months--I shall do all my shopping in Seattle.
Beeswax, tallow and whale oil? And that was just for lighting purposes. For power, we used horses and oxen, or wood-burning steam locomotives and riverboats.
What small quantities of seepage petroleum were used, was primarily as a form of patent medicine. It fulfilled the primary requirement of medicine in those days, by tasting like H*ll.
Kerosene became the salvation of the American frontier.
Okie, a guy who drives a kid’s TN’G Milano 49 Scooter is complaining to me about the $.10 a gallon profit Oil companies make?
How about being a little upset about the $.60 a gallon tax the Govt takes?
How does a "Weak dollar" have anything at all to do with the price of oil?
I don’t know for a fact but I thought total taxes were much more than $.60 a gallon.
What about it? I'm so sick of leftist loons whining about "big oil" and Haliberton and conspiracy theories, that sometimes I wish they would just close their doors and dissolve their companies. Then watch everyone whine "where have all America's big oil and corperations gone?" while in line for food stamps.
That's not how leftist loons envision the new world however, they think they are going to live on nice little garden plots of land, growing their own "organic" vegetables as bunnies and deer walk up to them for a pet. They think they are going to have houses tiled with solar panels, and windmills spinning in the backyard suppling all their energy needs.
No mention of a JOB to pay for all the solar cells, batteries and wire however.
They sure are in for a shock when starving masses raid and trample their garden, loot their house, or even worse, kill them for it.
300 million people aren't going to be living in any type of "green" utopia they envision. The fact of the matter is 300 million people need "big oil" and large corperations to sustain them, otherwize total kaos will reduce that population rapidly.
Not to mention the MSM. They need to inform people on how supply and demand works and not politicize a serious problem.
Still waiting for someone to explain to me how a “Weak dollar” has any effect on the price of oil.
Still waiting for someone to explain to me how a Weak dollar has any effect on the price of oil.Um, OK. Let us say that you're trading thumb tacks for paper clips. Only it turns out that everyone and their brother has all the thumb tacks that they need. Your hoard of pointy thumb tacks simply is, therefore, not in hot demand. So: you get fewer paper clips in return for however many thumb tacks you contract to exchange. Now, the thumb tacks are dolars, and the paper clips are oil ... get the idea?
The average total tax on a gallon of motor gasoline nationwide, weighted by consumption, is approx. 51 cents/gal.
Correct. Just tell them that the discovery of oil saved the whales.
Thanks, SAJ. I don’t know where I got the idea it was higher.
|FINDING DEAL$ ON GA$OLINE:|
12 Month National Average for Regular Unleaded by AAA.com
Several FReepers have a graphic of state motor fuel tax rates that gets posted fr/time to time. Next time I see it, I’ll send it off to you
It has to do with the exchange rate. It now takes more dollars to buy the same goods from foreign sources. This added cost is reflected at the pump.
Let's take Shell (Dutch owned) as an example. They buy oil from the Saudi's in Euro's, they sell the oil to the US in dollars.
In 2000, one euro was worth about $0.85, now that same euro costs about $1.30. The price to Shell remains the same, but in terms of the US 'cost' the cost has gone up considerably.
Not near so much as "big taxes" are. The truth is, politicians are just putting on a show pretending to care about fuel prices. The amount of money flowing into government coffers from taxes is even beyond a democrats wet dreams. But you won't hear politicians talk about rolling back taxes so to cap revenues. A proper sliding tax formula based on lets say a base price of $1 a gallon, should see tax percentages decrease as gas prices rize so as to keep a cap on tax revenues.
This would drastically lessen the impact of flutuating barrel prices on the consumer AND more importantly, our entire economy.
Wishfull thinking however. The government cares about niether, only about how much more money they can spend, pack pork onto bills which enrich their political donators.
What is the reference to "Scooter" in that headline? (Apparently not "Scooter" Libby, which is what I was thinking when I first saw it.)
Only problem. Isn’t the Oil market traded in dollars? Aren’t you trading thumb tacks for well.... different colored thumb tacks? I understand how the market works if, for example, I go with a bunch of dollars to say England. I have to convert them to Pounds at a fixed exchange rate. Do not get how a comity traded in dollars is effected.
I think it’s a referrence to his “my TNG Milano 49” analogy he used in the piece.
But how does that effect the US Market? We only get about 18% of our Oil from Saudi Arabia. We get the bulk of our oil either from ourselves or from Canada and Mexico.
Since neither the Canadian dollar nor the Peso is doing so well as the Euro against the dollar, that means the Saudi oil is pricey but the bulk of of our oil is not as pricey. In fact, it should make the domestic and near domestic source considerable cheaper then the imported oil. If anything, it should be pricing the Saudi Oil off the market.
At $0.184 dollars per gallon and 375 million gallons per day consumed (or purchased) the government take is about 69 million per day or over 25 billion per year.
Our dollar is weak, so it costs us more to buy the same goods. The people that benefit from this though is the US tourist industry. Look at it this way:
A hotel in NYC charges $175.00 a night. In 2000 that hotel cost a European $230.00 euro's to stay there. Today that same hotel costs (assume room rate as constant) 135.00 euro.
That is how weak the dollar is today.
THAT would have an effect on the USD eventually. But it will also be damaging to the Europeon economy, making their goods too expensive to import. So it works both ways. A weak USD would be more competitive and benefit exporters of American goods, while it hurts importers of Europeon goods, reduces our buying power. An example of the pros and cons can be seen in the Canadian dollar market right now, where the canuck buck is near par with the USD. It's damaging to exporters of Canadian goods into the USA, because they aren't as competitive with American manufacurers as they were when the canuk buck was around 70 cents. On the otherhand, they are making a killing on oil and gas.
That seems like an awfully low number. Another thing is, the government dips into the oil well many times before pump taxes are taken. They take a cut at the well, then sip from the bucket as it's carried to it's final destination, the holding tanks at the gas station. Those are hidden taxes, which the final pump tax taxes again. Now they want to add a carbon tax along that route as well.
You are right though, there are many other hidden taxes that the calculation I did does not account for.
It’s all passed right back to the consumer who buys that gallon of gas. Much more tax is taken than the final 18 cents at the pump.
“Scooter Nation” is pertty much a chick thing (Dont know how gay it is) see:
Popular resurgence sees
with classics being rebuilt for major $
And what this cat rides
--now, that looks so....well, you know..
Sorry, strike the word “gay”
change to “Effeminante”
The net effect of the weak dollar is a higher price at the pump. Yes, there are many other factors, but the dollars fluctuation is not "irrelevant" in a world traded commodity.
LOL! I think you’re right, it went right over my head. I think he dinged the gay crowd.
That's a little over a gallon per person. Now everyone doen't drive cars, but those that do, lets say 25% of the population, even less, would have a very hard time getting by on 3 gallons of gas per day on a normal work day.
Heck, I've burned a gallon in the lawnmower already today, and I'm only 1/4 ways done. I'm going to have to drive to town and fill up my gas can, which will burn another 5 gallons just driving there and back. (60 miles) Maybe I'll just siphon some out of the tank instead... But, I'm low on beer. Ahh the dilemma's life tosses at me...
I will look forward to seeing your link that has a more accurate number.
World trade on oil barrel prices is in USD. It is what it is at closing bell.
If shell in Norway or where ever wants to pay for it in Euro's, big deal, it doesn't effect our pump price. just the barrel price which is in USD does.
Now, as I mentioned, IF oil was traded on the world market in Euro's, that would have an effect on our dollar, because it would no longer be the world standard for trade. It would probably slip, and the euro would climb, which has both pro's and cons for them, just as a low dollar would have pro's and cons for us.
And the change in the cost of a barrell of oil has been inversely related to the change in the value of the dollar, yes?
Oil has been increasing in cost, as the value of the dollar has declined. That has been one factor (of many) in the high cost we see today.
Well, if you consider that we get 800 million barrels of oil a day from Alberta alone, even if only one gallon of gas is extracted per barrel,(a very conservative figure) that already more than doubles that figure you gave. Add up our total daily imports, and you'll get a better number. since they claim our refineries are running at peak, we are using almost all of it a day. The point was and is, the government is raking in a lot more than they want us to know.
800 million barrels a day is about 10 times total global oil production.
Here is some data: oil imports to the USA.
It does not appear to come close to your conclusions. I will look forward to seeing your links that either refute mine, or support yours.
We do agree though that the government is the one reaping the lions share of the proceeds. We are just quibbling on how big that share is.
well yes, is a very small way. You are talking small change, pennies per barrel if the dollar happens to trade a 1/10 of a cent lower that day.
What has been driving up world oil prices is not the strength of our dollar, it's speculation on the trading floor over terrorist threats, supply problems (regulation by opec), next years weather forcast, anthing they can use as an excuse to drive up prices to make a buck.
The actual cost of producing oil hasn't gone up much at all from when barrel prices were in the 25$ range. It's all a rip off as far as I'm concerned.
Set up an account with a futures broker and start raking in the cash.
Still, if you want to sit down and figure out total imports, find the total amount of gas/diesel made from the crude, then you will be able to guesstimate average daily consuption. There's no way I believe the 375 million gallon number. Maybe thats what the airline industry alone burns. (or Nazi Pelosi burns flying back and forth to washington)
Now your thinking... If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. That's what I do. There's still good money to be made there.