Gasoline plea

Wouldn’t surprise me at all. Most of the big O&G players have head offices in Calgary for the Canadian branch of operations, and they’re all busy, busy, busy here.

Some interesting stats from my June, 2005 edition of Westworld Alberta magazine (the CAA magazine); article written by Lawrence Herzog, pages 53 - 55:

  • Anatomy of a gas dollar - 42% is crude oil costs.

  • Canada is the world’s ninth-largest producer of crude oil with an estimated 15% of its reserves.

  • Canada produces more than 20% of North America’s crude oil and natural gas, but accounts for only 10% of consumption. (Guess who uses the other 90%?)

  • About 175 billion barrels of oil in Alberta’s tar sands. It is estimated that at current production levels (1.2 million barrels a day), it will take 400 years to use these reserves up.

  • Finally, what we’re running out of is cheap oil. What we will face long before we actually run out of oil is a peak in the ability to produce oil. Experts put the peak in production where demand will outstrip supply at anywhere from now to 2037.

(All you Albertans who get the Westworld Alberta subscription with your CAA membership, I suggest you read it if you don’t already. It usually has very good articles in it.)

Oops - the (Guess who uses the other 90% comment?) was from me, not the author of the article.

One of our local news programs has a Sunday informational show Upfront with Robert Mac I’m sure most cities have something like it.
One week he asked the question “Why is gasoline so expensive in the Pacific Northwest?” (we pay .20 to .30 more than the national average)
His guests were, a rep from a major oil company and a retired refinery executive, who was willing to cop to the straight dope.
The retired exe talked about the obscene profits being made by the oil companies, especially the ones who process domestic and SA oil. He noted that most of our local gasoline is made from oil obtained in Alaska, with a small percentage coming from Texas and SA. It arrives here by pipeline. A pipeline so poorly maintained that it has spectacular explosive leaks periodicly along its length. Most are in unpopulated areas, but at least one killed 3 kids in Bellingham WA a few years ago.
The Oil Co rep said all oil companies are mandated to charge OPEC prices, even for products that never see a drop of OPEC oil. When asked why, he had no answer.
He then talked about the high cost of R & D and building new facilities. When asked how many new facilities had been built in the past 10 years he admitted the number was zero. So, he shifted to the high cost of maintaining aging equipment. (Like the afor mentioned pipeline.)
The bottom line was the major oil companies all made in excess of 8 billion dollars a year straight profit, that’s after they paid for the costly R & D and after they finished building and maintaining those non-existent facilities.

When all was said and done, he had painted himself into a corner. That was 2 years ago…
I suspect, the only change accomplished by the show was to have him reassigned to a non-media position.

Although corporations blow PC smoke about “stakeholders”, the only true function of a corporation is to maximize shareholder wealth. If your version of “caring” about consumers maximizes wealth, corporations will do it; if it doesn’t, they won’t.

IOW, your letter is going into the circular file, posthaste.