AMAZING ARTICLES #35:
THE PRICE OF CRUDE
"there is no better tomorrow if we do not learn today."
1 standard crude oil barrel = 158.978 [liters]
Chemical industry is the true "gold mine" of today, and in the
future: nothing comes close to it. For example, if the software
industry pumps billions of revenue dollars per year, chemical industry
is capable of doing the same thing in one day--even better! Now,
specific to our chemical industry is, it is fossil
oil based. There are alternatives to fossil oil, and they are way more
advantageous from multiple points of view, except this
"bad Juju" oil thing allows for
billions of USD to be "earned" overnight, out of thin air, based on market speculations: the
"sweet" is sweeter than anything else!
There are many interesting facts about oil, and they are little known; therefore, we decided we should summarize
them for you in this article. First of all, the main idea is, we do not know how the oil was formed,
except this is the
"official" version, because the truth about oil's origin is fairly unsettling.
Fossil oil is officially
classified as a "rock" or a "mineral"--liquid, but still a natural mineral rock.
formed from animal organisms, plus plants. Coal, on the other hand, was formed
only from plants
[vegetal matter]. It is possible
we are burning in our engines entire Civilizations of once living people--just like
us--which must have ended catastrophically, a long time ago. The least troublesome scenario is, crude oil was formed from animals:
dinosaurs, or whatever.
In support of the above theory is, each oil reserve is different from any other. In other words,
fossil oil is
particular to its original place, therefore trade people use names like "Nigerian
Light", "Saudi Heavy", "North Sea Brent", which name in fact specific chemical qualities.
Fossil oil is a carbon-based organic natural product, but each reserve in the
World has particular additions of
inorganic impurities--which are not wanted, because they poison our air. For example,
the Libyan oil is one of the
worst, since it contains a lot of sulfur and vanadium.
When one oil tanker ship spills crude oil, the environmentalists cry out as
loud as they can: POLLUTION! No, dear
people, crude/fossil oil is a natural product, therefore it is not a "true" pollutant. Pollutants are only
the products resultant from oil processing, and from other chemical by-products, as is DDT, DIOXIN, fertilizers,
insecticides, and finally the detergents we use: these are THE greatest pollutants of our environment--although
no environmentalist bothers to "fight" shampoos.
Sure, crude oil would kill a few birds and some fish, at first, and it will spill dirt on
our beaches, but it is still
a natural product; it is not a poison. In one year or two, crude oil hardens,
therefore it ceases to be a danger for
wildlife. There is nothing wrong with protecting the environment, only we have to do it intelligently, because
other pollutants (fertilizers, detergents, shampoos, liquid soaps, etc.) are way, way more dangerous/pollutant.
Let's see the top 20 (official) fossil oil reserves in the World in 2006, according to OSHA-USA
[Occupational Health and Safety Administration].
Top 20 (Official) Major Oil Reserves in 2006
|| Saudi Arabia
|| United Arab Emirates
|| United States
In red above are the countries that are directly or indirectly under the USA
driven market exchange. Please be aware that the above table doesn't say too
much, because there are strong/important strategies driving the oil market.
The data presented above represents only 56.98% of the actual World
reserves; the rest 43.01% is scattered throughout the "rest of
the World" nations.
Also note that the above information is the "official version".
The major oil players
have no intention of revealing the true state of things, because the threat of
depleted oil reserves allows for
huge price fluctuations--therefore for profits of billions in one single day, out of "thin air"!
The reserves of crude oil are at least double the official version. Three major regions hiding enormous
are not officially included in any table:
3. The Planetary Ocean (meaning, the entire water surface)
In addition, there are huge reserves of natural gas and methane which can replace
completely fossil oil. Even the
coal reserves may replace oil--during the 2nd World War the Germans have perfected the method of creating
synthetic gasoline from coal. The truth is, there are more than sufficient resources to start replacing the entire oil
industry with hydrogen, silicon, and ceramics if we want to, during the next 50 years.
Unfortunately, the problem is
As mentioned, the profits in the oil industry are huge. In fact, they are so huge that, today, when the price of
one barrel of crude is about 60 USD, the true price of gasoline at the gas
pumps should be about 40 cents (US cents), not 1.2 USD. It is all about the oil strategy.
For example, in N America the latest
"motivation" is: "we do not have sufficient oil refinery capacity". Of course
it is not; it
happens that very many companies have asked for permission to build new oil refineries for
decades, but they
didn't get the approvals. The market is rapaciously and securely held into the hands of the few "big
ones", using hefty bribes, influence, corruption, and all sort of miseries: all paid by the unaware, hard
working, poor citizens who trust their dear Governments are doing the right things for them.
It doesn't work that way, dear fellow citizens.
Well! Crude oil is processed in a few steps, as follows:
1. distillation (or refinery)
2. thermal cracking
3. catalytic cracking and polymerization
4. advanced chemical treatment
The first step of processing, distillation, is the one used to "motivate" the high price of gasoline at
the gas pumps, as being directly related to the crude barrel price. However, the next steps of
processing are able to raise the benefits up to 10 000 USD (excluding the operating costs) per 1 (one) barrel of
Sorry, this figure of 10 000 USD could be impressive, but it is relative.
Only a very small part of
crude oil can be processed to that enormous figure of 10 000 USD per barrel; most
of the oil brings an average of 200 USD
profit per barrel. Things are this way.
Crude oil is a carbon-based organic "mineral": it is a mixture of hundreds organic
"hydrocarbons". Each hydrocarbon component is very precious. In crude oil we found the following major
groups of components:
1. paraffins (methane, ethane, propane, butane, isobutane, pentane, hexane);
2. aromatics (benzene, cyclohexane, methyl cyclopentane);
3. alkenes (ethylene, propylene, butene, izobutene);
4. dienes and alkynes (1,2-bytadiene, 1,3-butadiene, acetilene);
5. sulfur compounds (sulfur, hydrogen sulphide);
6. oxygen compounds (phenols, ketones, and carboxylic acids);
7. nitrogen compounds (they also include a few dangerous
substances due to their metal components, such as copper, vanadium,
8. trace metals (iron, copper, vanadium);
9. salts (hydrogen chloride, natrium/sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride);
10. carbon dioxide;
11. naphthenic acids (this is a particular group of organic acids).
Now, after processing chemically crude oil, we obtain a wide range of useful/needed substances. Consider, for
example, the following major groups of products:
2. kerosene (jet fuel);
3. liquefied petroleum gas (LPG);
4. other fuel distillates;
5. residual fuels (for the power generation industry, and for marine engines);
6. coke and asphalt (for coating highways);
7. solvents (some are very expensive);
8. petrochemical products (excluding plastics) such as paints (10 mg of printer ink sells for appx. 10 USD)
9. lubricants (again, some are very expensive);
10. leaded gasoline additives;
11. plastics (some types of plastics are very, very expensive);
12. medicinal drugs (most medicinal drugs are sold
at 1000 to 10000 times their actual manufacturing costs; the price of
medicinal drugs--and their inefficiency--is a clear example of how inhuman
the "democratic" societies really are).
The problem is, we, the individuals, have a limited need for plastics or printer ink per month, but we do consume
a lot of gasoline; therefore, although we could easily get 10 000 USD out of one barrel of crude oil, we do not do
it. That is the reason nobody can state with a clean conscience what is the end-benefit, in USDs, of one processed
crude oil barrel: it depends on the needs of the market. However, the more we consume expensive plastics and
paints, the higher are the benefits.
Just a rough estimation of ours, the benefits from one crude oil barrel are on average 200 USD. The tricky part
is, we are faced with enormous market price fluctuations: there is where the average citizen is
actually "milked" of his/her hard-earned USDs.
The oil exporter countries never get the
current market rate for their
crude [they do get enormous benefits out of oil anyway]; possibly, oil exporters get less than half of the
official market price. Therefore, the market price of the crude is just a theoretical reference used mostly for
market speculations--based on the threat of depleted oil reserves. Of course, oil reserves are diminishing with
each passing day, but there is more than sufficient crude oil to help us switch the entire petrochemical industry to
cleaner alternatives in the future. Not to mention that, indeed, using oil derivates is THE major source of pollution
Two aspects are worth mentioning. First, for Mr. Al Gore who has started on an intensive campaign to curb carbon
dioxide emissions--which is very good. However, carbon dioxide is a component
"photosynthesis natural cycle":
plants "consume" carbon dioxide and they produce pure oxygen in exchange.
Therefore, one very efficient way to
reduce carbon dioxide is reforestation. The true dangerous
pollutants when burning gasoline are the nitrogen
compounds, sulfur compounds, and hydrocarbon compounds.
Secondly, we need plastics a lot. It would be a very wise policy to keep as much crude oil as we can for
the petrochemical and
plastics industries, because they are far more important for us, now, and in the future, than burning gasoline.
Now, the truly interesting aspect is, we do have technological replacements for almost
all petroleum products,
and those replacements are even superior in quality, and a lot less polluting.
Most petrochemical products may be
replaced by silicon-based products--silicon is obtained from sand. Plastics may be replaced (again) by silicon
based products, and by ceramics (also silicon in nature). For fuels, we have to switch to the hydrogen industry,
and the sooner we do that, the better things would be for us. In addition, vegetal mater
may provides sufficient
cellulose which can be further processed for many of our "plastics" needs.
To end this, the oil industry is controlled by a few hermetically secret government strategies,
by the big oil companies,
and by the market profiteers: all of them work together to rip us off
mercilessly using stupid "threats", absurd motivations, and
countless lies. However, it is within our powers to start controlling them, democratically, to the
hundredth of the cent.
First published on October 8, 2006
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