Saturday, November 20, 2004

American Oil

The American oil industry has been promoting outsourcing since long before it became a favorite pastime for American corporations. They have been importing foreign oil for decades because [until recently] it has always been much cheaper to buy than American oil (thus ensuring a higher profit margin for them). In the meantime, we have been led to believe that America's existing oil wells have simply gone dry -- or have been "about to go dry" for 31 years now.

While the earth's oil reserves are not limitless (personally, I wish they would all dry up as soon as possible so we could move on), there is still a lot more oil in the United States than the oil companies would like us to believe. A number of years ago, my father acquired shares of stock in seven tiny oil wells that are situated on his former property in Wyoming. Prior to the war in Iraq, he received royalty checks roughly every month which averaged about $300 each. Between January 2003 and the summer of 2004 (shortly before, during and after the invasion of Iraq), we received only four checks, amounting to about $150 each. No checks have been received in the past year [we still own the royalties]. Strange coincidence, don't you think? One year ago, the oil storage tanks on the property were full, and the wells were far from dry (I lived there for a few months last year, so I know), but the well owners told me that they could not find buyers for their oil. Of course, they also had to stop pumping oil since their storage tanks were full.

If such is the case with "our" wells, then one can imagine that it may not be an isolated incident. With the price of foreign oil at an all-time high [$67 per barrel as of 8/24/05], I find it amazing (and highly suspect) that American oil companies are still uninterested in buying American oil (at least from independent producers). In fact, we are still being told that America has no more oil -- outside of our unspoiled national parks, that is.

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