The anger and frustration that car owners feel over the price of gas when they fill up at the pump doesn’t really tell the whole story. An internet search reveals some interesting facts about whether or not OPEC (specifically, Saudi Arabia) and the big oil companies have the consumer, “over a barrel” (pardon the pun,). The top fifteen countries that primarily feed nearly half of America’s 18.7 mbbl a day oil addiction (2011) are listed below in the following:
1. CANADA 2,157,000 bbl/daily
2. SAUDI ARABIA 1,180,000 bbl/daily
3. MEXICO 1,113,000 bbl/daily
4. VENEZUELA 893,000 bbl/daily
5. NIGERIA 826,000 bbl/daily
6. IRAQ 473,000 bbl/daily
7. COLOMBIA 364,000 bbl/daily
8. ANGOLA 323,000 bbl/daily
9. RUSSIA 246,000 bbl/daily
10. BRAZIL 225,000 bbl/daily
11. ECUADOR 203,000 bbl/daily
12. KUWAIT 164,000 bbl/daily
13. ALGERIA 204,000 bbl/daily
14. CHAD 54,000 bbl/daily
15. OMAN 39,000 bbl/daily
TOTAL 8,464,000 bbl/daily
Also, add to the fact that a typical 42 gallon barrel of oil only yields approximately 19.4 gallons of oil. The first 4 gallons are from straight refining and the remainder is from a process called “cracking” which breaks the long hydrocarbon molecular chains into shorter and lighter ones of which the remaining extra 15 gallons can then be extracted. The price for a barrel of oil is set on the international markets by spot traders, commodities brokers and futures contracts who inflate the “real” cost on a barrel of crude oil by roughly fifty percent. Let’s say the cost at the pump is $3.50/gallon X 19.4 gallons=$67.90, and subtracting that amount from $100.00 (est. ppb crude oil) =$32.10; with the remaining 22.6 gallons to be refined into thousands of consumer products and goods, many of which we use every day.
The thing that is not known is how much does it cost to refine each barrel of oil into gasoline and other petroleum by-products and how is the price at the pump determined, and by what organization or regulatory agency? So, while all the outrage is over how much it costs at the gas station but what about the high prices at the grocery, hardware, department and sporting goods stores?
Americans consume petroleum products at a rate of three-and-a-half gallons of oil day each and some of the 6,000 products derived from crude oil are: Ballpoint Pens, Soap, Perfumes, Shower Curtains, Telephones, Detergents, Toothbrushes, Crayons, Shampoo, CD's & DVD's, Hand Lotion, Aspirin, Paint, Shoes, Panty Hose, Deodorant, Antihistamines, Clothing, Rubbing Alcohol, Umbrellas, Mops, Food Preservatives, Tool Boxes, Insecticides, Lipstick, Toilet Seats, Trash Bags, Electric Blankets, Shower Curtains, Luggage, Shag Rugs, Motorcycle/Football Helmets, Tennis Racket, Football, Basketball, ad infinitim.
Ironically, domestic oil production in the United States for 2010 was between 5.5 mbbl/daily and 9.688 mbbl/daily (est.), with exports to Mexico, Latin America and an OPEC country (Ecuador) of 1.92 mbbl/daily as of 2009.
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February 21, 2012
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