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Old 10-27-2005, 03:49 PM
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Oil Company Profits Soar Up 90%

Did anybody see this in the news? Seems Exxon,Shell, etc. have record high profits from the storm "shortages" & price increases. They ought to charge these Big Guy's with price gouging!!

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Old 10-27-2005, 04:48 PM
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that's why i'm into chevron right now. i'm an oil man!
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Old 10-27-2005, 05:24 PM
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shameless leaching bastards
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Old 10-27-2005, 06:20 PM
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yes?



damn ten letter thing.
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:33 PM
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Yall Remember Some Years Ago When The Oil Companies Got A Little Full Of Themselves And We All Economized And Before You Know It The Prices Came Down. Created Something Called An Oil Glut. They Seem To Have Forgotten That Message. At Least Now The Environmentalists Will Lose The Fight To Preserve Wetlands, Preserves, Beaches ETC. On Account Of Whose Gonna Oppose New Drilling Now. By The Way I Think Its Funny That We Would Use Up OPECs Oil First. Now All We Gotta Do Is Remind The Oil Companies They Ain't Our Bosses!!!! MW
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:57 PM
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Long rant....

Doc here,

<---Climbs up on his Rant box..

RANT.....RANT....RANT!!

I have four Refineries within 10 miles of where I live...

These azzes First off, Act as If "Nobody can touch us.." .."We'll operate as we wish.." AND they have their own Nazi Police force and Fire Department to back it up!!! They Don't even allow Consolidated FD in unless it goes to certain alarm alerts..AND do their OWN accident Investigations..

They have (I assume bought ) several miles of what used to be public highway, cutting west bound traffic off all together, on what used to be county road...and put up "Check point Charlie's" on them..and the only way you can get through now..is with an employee ID or a passport from the front office..The reason? To keep News Vans (and other whistle-blower's out of Camera Shot of The Refinery)...

They operate within our County, and pay what little taxes they can legally get away with here..They constantly have Accidents..fires and explosions, not to mention discharges into the bay of toxic material..Benzine, for instance, daily, for 5 years until they got caught by the EPA, from their waste water treatment plant..and when they GET busted..they whine and cry about fines...(which aren't even close to what the clean up cost is..)

We (The County) have had to put in place an alert system because of them for "Shelter in Place" and an Automatic Phone dialer" to warn residents that the air will kill you get out, or stay in and seal the doors and windows...ALL at OUR cost..

What do we get for putting up with their antics here?

When they Do get a fine...They Turn right around, and Raise the local Fuel price here..(We are ALWAYS higher, and First to increase before the rest of the country) usually 10 to 20 cents a gallon HIGHER than say, rural counties north of here..(It's worth the drive to fill up 50 miles away...) They do this in order to OFFSET the fine they Just got...Meaning WE (The residents of the County that just fined them..) are being punished for their lack of Compliance...by paying THEIR fines..what equates to almost doing business for free within the county...We Support their Cost of doing business...

Logically , you would think it would be cheaper to buy fuel here, simply because they didn't have the cost to ship it across the country...it only had to go 10 miles..but no...It's consistently 10 to 20 cents higher...

I would like to see this (as well as other's) County impose a 3 Strike system for these azzes...3 major accidents..your out of here..pack it in and go...No county license Issued to do business here this year or any..

In addition, a Local tax schedule in place, in a tear formula..The actual tax base up to X amount of dollars (normal cost of operation and commodity price of crude)..

Then a Tax schedule for TWICE that amount..for income produced within that period over the first amount..up to another level, where the tax goes triple that amount, so no matter how high they raise the fuel price locally, they pay it back (and more) in local taxes..They can no longer recoup it from the end user..(us) The more they raise, the more they pay..

Of course this would be in a perfect world...and poly~tricks has shown that ship sailed long ago..

In addition to that...PG&E (perpetual Graft and Extortion) The local power producer in Northern California (and monopoly..you can't get it anywhere else..except maybe solar or wind powered) Has Announced "That Because of the Hurricane Damage " Natural Gas prices will raise (already did) By 80% over last month..and Electric will raise over 10 % ...equates to..if you were paying $200 in Energy last month, you will now pay almost $400 this month...

Who the Hell are they fooling? Natural gas is pumped right here within the state..They have several thousand natural gas wells right here, and it has almost always served the needs to the public...If there were shortages, then yes..they would have to liquidfy it and truck it here..(LNG)... under normal circumstances..It would be absurd because of the cost..

I assume, They figure We as the "Uninformed Public" will assume..Gas is Gas...comes from the same place...If it cost more for my car..it should cost more for my stove/heater...

Oh..and public utility's meeting on the raise?? under some obscure reg, in these situations (emergency) Can do it in a back room with little or no public input..(since the majority never heard of it until it was announced on the news it was a done deal!)

The ONLY Real impact on them I could see, is buying fuel for their bloated fleet of vehicles..(on any given day, in a city of 250,000, 2/3 rds of them sit idle in their multi acre lot..) I guess they see a profit there too...

We as consumers Need to stand up and stop these extortionists..It's OK to make a profit..but not raise pricing out of context with everything else..

Ok that's my Very Slanted , one sided Rant for today..( and I may be All wrong but I Kinda doubt it..) Anyway, It feels good to get it off my chest!

Where is Erin Brockovitch when you need her??

<---Gets down off his rant box...takes deep breath, and heads for an adult beverage..on his bicycle, sitting in the dark..freezing....

Doc
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:28 PM
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Doc Vette puts it well! I didn't know many of the things he said. Thanks for the heads up man, good job Buncha bloodsuckers, rip off artists. How can you legally have 90% increase in profit during a disaster. As I saw on T.V. people were being put in jail for stealing during the hurricane, I mean really whats the damn difference here? Its legalized stealing! Bubba carrys a TV set off and goes to jail. Why not put some of these guys in jail but not for staling a TV or stereo, but the fuel that runs the cars that takes us to work to put bread on the table. The only thing I don't know is WHO do you put in jail? WHO makes the decisions?
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:36 PM
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At least the people in Washington are starting to pay attention, now that they are afraid they may not get reelected. I dont know how much it's going to help though.
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Old 10-27-2005, 10:14 PM
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Iv'e worked in the oil business for 35 years and can attest we are not any more crooked than any other business. Probably not near as crooked as auto mechanics or body and paint guys overall. Yes we are making good money now but where were all you naysayers just a few years ago when we were getting about $6/barrel and our lifting cost was in the $8 range? Have you complained to your congressman about the dozens of different gas formulations they force the refineries to produce? A gallon of gas made for Oregon cannot be shipped to California to relive a temporary shortage there even if Oregon is swimming in gas and vice versa. Have you complained that there hasn't been a refinery built in the US in 20 years due to government regulation? Are you aware that China and India have recently doubled their petroleum demand and projections are for them to continue to double demand every few years for the foreseeable future? Did you feel their pain when Gulf, Arco, Tenneco, Texaco, Unocal, etc., etc., etc., couldn't survive? Have you complained to your congressman about the +$25/barrel in gasoline taxes they assess?

There isn't a shortage of oil but there is a shortage of refining and distribution and an artificial shortage caused by exploration bans in the US. Unless the oil industry is allowed to look for more oil and turn it into product, supply and demand will prevail.

Regardless here is a graph of the historical oil price adjusted for inflation in 1978 dollars. As you can see, the current price is not a record, thus a lot of griping but no real effect on the economy.



Here is a graph of supply/demand for petroleum in the foreseeable future.



We are probably going to see real shortages in the very near future. Within a decade, oil can only supply half the energy demand the rest will come from ? You can cuss out the oil companies all you want but that won't make any more energy available. Only clear thinking and rational governmental policies will help but rarely have those prevailed. If the third world grows at the expected pace and exploration is suppressed, this is what to look forward to. The only other alternative is nuclear power to generate hydrogen (the US need at least 600 new nukes to replace its petroleum usage) but we haven't built one of those in 30 years.

PS. "obscene profits" got to where? That's right class, STOCK HOLDERS!! I am sure you all have your 401K portfolios stuffed with oil stocks don't you so you to can feast on the spoils? Of course you do!!
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:25 AM
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Regulations on the oil industry did not spring from a vacuum. They were devised in answer to such wonderful things as drunks driving supertankers, spontaneously combusting rivers and multi-billion dollar recreation areas becoming sludge buckets. Just like the automobile industry, the energy industries protested that environmental regulations would result in the end of the world, then discovered that more efficiency (less waste dumped into the air, water and land) could equate to higher profits. Remember, oil itself was once considered a nuisance waste product in brine wells.

Yeah, "poly-tricks", as docvette put it (I like that word), works both ways in the extreme. Sometimes the tricks protect criminal activity and sometimes the tricks create a virtual prison around legitimate business activity. The bulk of regulations between those extremes slowly, over time, evolves into some fairly sensible public policy, though. We just have to keep voting the bums out when they act against us and keep voting with our dollars. Demand to know the facts and demand the back rooms be opened to scrutiny.

willys36:
I know it wasn't the main point of your message, but that bit about hydrogen caught my attention. What makes hydrogen suitable as a replacement for petroleum? Packaging? Energy available per pound of fuel? Distribution system? What? I know the hold-up for electricity is being able to haul enough around with you; we can already produce it cheaply enough and the distribution system has been in place for decades. What is it that's attractive about hydrogen?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:53 AM
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Willy's,

Thanks for a little bit of perspective.

I try to keep abreast of the real story behind oil, but of course, the press does a lousy job of reporting where the real costs come from.

As an example, I believe that yesterday Chevron announced that they were going to upgrade one of their refineries significantly. The cost: over $2 Billion dollars.

That's an upgrade - not a new refinery.

The profit numbers I saw on the news last night were $9 Billion.

So, a couple of oil companies made enough profit one quarter that they might actually be able to use to build a new refinery, if they did not return that profit to the stockholders, and had no other infrastructure improvements to do.

The point I'm trying to make is that petroleum production is a hugely capital-intensive endeavor, while profits per unit sold are miniscule - everything has to be made in huge volumes. Profits are also very cyclical, as Willys pointed out. Besides refining gasoline, many of these companies are also selling crude to other countries and making a big profit due to the worldwide demand. I don't know why people are so against profit, especially when the numbers aren't really that out of line when you consider the size of these companies, the volume of business they do in hundreds of petroleum-related markets, and the huge capital outlays that are part of being in the industry.


Another often overlooked point is that the huge amount of regulations that are keeping the refineries from being built have an additional component: The fixed costs are the same for everyone. So, regulations raise the barrier to entry for new oil companies. When was the last time you saw a new oil company enter the market? Can you think of any other industry, where if profits were "obscene", as so many people put it, that there wouldn't be dozens of companies entering that market to share in the spoils? Doesn't happen in the oil industry.

The way the regulations are structured, they effectively prevent any new companies from coming into the market (I'm specifically talking about refining). That leaves the big oil companies with the ability to control that market. Can you really blame a company for making the most of regulations that they were against in the first place. That's business. Its also the law - corporations are responsible to their shareholders to maximize profits within the limits of the law.

As is so often the case, government regulations backfire and make the problem worse, so most people's solution is more regulation.
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Old 10-28-2005, 07:11 AM
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Doc for Prez !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-28-2005, 07:23 AM
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But the worse part about them making all this money is their employee retirement pension funds are loosing money fast, just like GM's. See the latest Time magazine. It is upsetting, and I don't even have a retirement pension!
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Old 10-28-2005, 07:33 AM
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The percentage of profits the oil companies made is no different than Wal-Mart, Home Depot or a lot of other businesses. Are they price gouging too? No one screamed when they were losing money a few years back. We haven't had a new refinery built in the US since the 70's and probably won't until the environmental wacko's are put in their place and government streamlines the process. Does anyone think that Starbucks' is price gouging, what is a gallon of coffee worth? Then price the beans.
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Old 10-28-2005, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalopy45
The percentage of profits the oil companies made is no different than Wal-Mart, Home Depot or a lot of other businesses. Are they price gouging too? No one screamed when they were losing money a few years back. We haven't had a new refinery built in the US since the 70's and probably won't until the environmental wacko's are put in their place and government streamlines the process. Does anyone think that Starbucks' is price gouging, what is a gallon of coffee worth? Then price the beans.
It's only a problem when Starbucks charges for water for the people saving there *** on 9/11.
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