Friday, November 11, 2005

Big Oil, Time for a Review

Seems I need to remind some folks again.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s enough bullets to slay all the idiots in the world. And then I wonder even if I had enough bullets, do I have enough life expectancy left to deliver a bullet into each idiot’s skull? I mean think about that, that’s a serious undertaking requiring at least some consideration of the logistics behind an operation like that. Slaying all the idiots in the world.

Oh well, guess I’ll just blog about it instead.

OK, last time here people. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting mighty sick and tired of the suburbanite kids too lazy to major in something worthwhile, whose only skill it seems is to regurgitate the talking points that were spoon fed to them in their indoctrination at the local university whilst they pursue a degree that shields them from any real work and responsibility whilst their Daddy dimes their education for them.

Ran into one of their numbers at a local bar last night complaining about (who other than…)


“Yeah, man, like it’s the US oil companies that are keeping the prices high and making us pay for it!” said the skinny, goatee wearing wimp who can only attract women who could beat him at his table. Of course he says it loud enough so that those of us who aren’t as ignorant as he is knows what he thinks. And what person isn’t concerned about what a 20 year old college student thinks. I mean, come on, they’re our future.

So I’m going to do everybody a favor. I’m going to put it to rest where the power lies in terms of “big oil.”

It’s not Exxon Mobil.

It’s not Chevron Texaco.

It’s not even our British big oil rival, BP.

It’s the multitude of (take note leftists) STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES of the OPEC nations and Russia that wield the most control over oil prices.

Now to make a pretty picture for you and to make it all nice and clear I’ve taken the top 20 oil producing firms in the world and made this pretty little chart for you;

Notice your much hated US big oil firms each have a whopping one percent of the total oil reserves in the world.

Now, I know this may be confusing for you to add up 1 and 1 because you went to the public schools and were taught by idiots like this goatee wearing wimp who no doubt majored in education because he thought everybody should share in his wisdom, so what I did is I simplified the chart so that it is broken down between US and Non-US oil firms.

Notice “BIG US OIL” controls all of 2% the oil in the world (and this is not including the bevy of minor players not included in the top 20).

Now, let’s put on our thinking caps and let’s try really, really hard. Almost as hard as the kids in the special education programs in the public schools try to drool on their own along with members of the teacher’s union (sorry, budget battle going on in the Minnesota legislature this week, guess whose asking for more money).

Who is most likely to have control over the price of oil and who is most likely to really just be a transportation, refining and distribution company?

You see with 98% control of the world's oil reserves...ah, heck. Forget it. The left is going to believe what it wants.


Peter Thurley said...

Captain, one thing I am concerned about is that the largest part of the pie belongs to the Saudi's. I know you'll probably accuse me or being indoctrinated by Moore, but thats not the case. We all know that the USA has business ties with the Saudis and we all know that their oil holdings are a major reason for the close ties. Perhaps the USA only has actual ownership of 2% of the worlds oil. But their influence as the worlds most powerful nation extends beyond what they actually own. I think there is a point to be taken in the comment 'X was fone for oil's sake' even if the only point we do take is that the USA often operates with its best financial interests in mind: it nees to maintain its influence and accessibility to oil store that it does not have ownership deeds to.

Unfortunately, financial interests sometimes supercede the interests of people. Which is the primary locus of my disagreement with capitalism as a whole.

Captain Capitalism said...

No, you're right. It is because of the oil that the US and Saudi's have a "good" relationship (in business any way), but I don't think the relationship is as conspiratorial or bad as the Michael Moore's of the world would like you to believe.

Look at it from the other end. The Saudi's certainly don't want the US to suffer because we're their largest customer. Without the US (which consumes roughly a quarter of the world's oil), all their wealth and future revenues would disappear. They want us to keep growing and stay healthy so we continue to consume their oil and keep oil prices reasonably aloft(unlike, say, Venezuela where Hugo Chavez would like to see the US collapse). This doesn't mean the US has control or somehow conspires with the Saudi's, it's just the obvious fact we're the largest economy in the world and they have the most oil in the world.

My whole point with this is that protestors' angst is misplaced when they blame the likes of Exxon or Chevron when they are just such small players when it comes to controlling the price of oil. What really raises my ire is when they lob Halliburton into this group (which has nothing to do with oil itself, just petroleum engineering). I'm just trying to unhitch the notion that somehow US oil companies have some kind of sway over the price of oil.

Peter Thurley said...

Captain, your point now clarified is taken, I am in agreeance with you. The US oil companies do not conspire to keep the price of oil high, nor do they have any serious influence in the prices of oil. It is a global market as you say.

BradMan said...

Uh oh Captain...

Now I normally agree with you, and to a degree I do on this issue as well. Though there are many many facets to the oil story/problem/situation.

To think that oil companies don't have any sway on the price of oil is pretty rediculous though.

My cousin works at BP in oil trading (you know, buying/or selling futures contracts for the price of oil) and he has told me flat out that yes even though they don't directly control the WORLD price of oil, they CAN and DO manipulate the price slightly in certain markets if there is a market to do so in.

All they do to accomplish this Captain is close this pipeline, change this shipping route, sell this oil here instead of here. They do in fact control the drilling, shipping, pipelining of a ton of oil around the world.

If for example trans costs to China increase and/or the chinese decide they are not going to pay a higher price for oil then within minutes BP changes delivery of their tankers to ...whoever... be it India, Indonesia, or sometimes they just stop the ships in transit and wait for an appropriate price to surface.

So yes....they DON'T control the price per se... but they DO in fact have a say on what the price CAN/SHOULD/WILL be. To think otherwise...well thats just nieve.


(In hopes of strengthening my posts credibility, I have in fact taken Economics of the World Oil Market, as well grew up in Calgary, Alberta... all we are is Oil and Cows. BTW guess who WILL be controlling the price of oil to you boys down south in the next 20 years....thats right...the good ol' Albertans! Can you say oil sands? (note: there is almost as much oil in Alberta's oil sands as there is in Saudi Arabia!)

Captain Capitalism said...

Again, you no doubt are correct. In controlling the distribution and refining of oil BP, Exxon Mobil, etc., can affect prices in local markets, but not the price quoted on the commodities markets. Furthermore, where the price of high oil is of particular annoyance, the US is not subject to one supplier. Citgo (Venezuela) can decide to keep supplying if it so chooses. And local players (here we have SA, Holiday, etc.) can continue to supply as well. In otherwords, sure, big oil might have a short term, termporary control, but ultimately those who have the oil control the price.

But another issue is refining. Many thanks to environmentalists, localized pricing is erratic and somewhat high. Malibu was highlighted as one of the few areas to have $3.00+ gas. This thanks to 1. no new refineries being built and
2. All the different environmental regulations (additives, detergents, etc.) required at the state, county and municipal level to be sold (here in Minneapolis, I always go north to Anoka County to get gas as they have lesser regulations on the gas). So it's not just big oil that can affect the local markets, but environmentalist goofs as well.

And yes, you're right. If Canada could ever find a way to extract the oil from the sand in an affordable manner, you would dwarf the production of even Saudi Arabia. Certainly would welcome the day to support the Canuks than Islamofacists.

Dwight said...

I guess you could blame the U.S. on the front that OPEC got its genesis based on the Texas Railroad Commission model.

But I know that's not what the hippie meant. And I'm sure he even knows what the word "margin" means and what its relationship is to the overall price of oil.

Captain Capitalism said...

Yeah, but something tells me that this kid's desire to complain and fashion himself as an underdog crusader fighting big oil supercedes his desire to learn the truth of any matter, thus he wouldn't be too receptive to discussing how commodity prices behave on margins.

The Mad Doctor said...

Hilary the man-hating socialist totalitarian was PMSing Congress on this very issue. Likely show-boating for the Stalin-esque presidency based on promising the ilazy selfish stupid masses all sorts of goodiews from the evil rich and corporations.

Problem is once they start messing with this volatile free market, we can expect more problems. I would expect fuel shortages and long lines to fill the tank. Who knows, maybe we can give gas credits to the poor. Some assholes in Congress want to subsidize digital TV for the poor. Real fucking essential.

Captain Capitalism said...

If you ran for president, I would vote for you.

Unfortunately, despite being a good president, people's feelings would be hurt by your bluntness.

Of course, because they can't handle the truth, they will suffer a miserable Soviet Union fate, which of course is way worse than having their feelings hurt, but I'm just explaining why it would happen that way.

Bill said...

Captain Capitalism
Your analysis doesn't examine the actual oil in barrels being bought and sold by the United States. Reserves are an entirely different matter. Controlling production (by limiting it) is the oldest game around. They control it in numerous ways including the phony peak oil theory, a bottleneck in refinery capacity, (effects the gas price) capping production here at home, and the sanctions against Iraq and more recently the war which lowered production.