# Price of fuel question

• posted on September 6, 2004, 3:57 am
I was listening to the radio the other day when I heard that the cost to refine a barrel of oil ranged between \$8 for Middle East Oil to \$15 for North Sea or Alberta Tar Sands Oil. This got me to thinking of
the range of oil prices over the past 10 years and of how the price of crude does not seem to be accurately reflected at the pumps.:
Oil Barrel capacity 42 U.S. gallons at 3.78541 L per US Gallon 158.98 Litres. Calculations in US\$ & US Gallons
North Sea Oil Refining Cost     \$15.00 Per Barrel Middle East Oil Refining Cost \$8.00 Per Barrel (Middle East Oil) Cost per Gallon @ \$17 per barrel = \$0.595 Per Gallon Cost per Gallon @ \$45 per barrel = \$1.269 Per Gallon (North Sea Oil) Cost per Gallon @ \$17 per barrel = \$0.76 Per Gallon Cost per Gallon @ \$45 per barrel = \$1.42 Per Gallon
I understand that transportation and storage costs are not included in these calculation as I was not able to find any consistent accurate numbers on cost of production, refining and storage.
For example http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_4-8-2004_pg5_18 "Asias margin to refine a barrel of Dubai crude into high-quality products is hovering at \$6.00 a barrel, Reuters data show."
Talking with Service station owners I am told that the majority of their profits are garnered from sales of chocolate bars, bottled water, etc.
I hear that oil companies are raking in the cash at the moment and their profit statements are somewhat impressive but it would be nice to be able to know what the real costs and margins are before buying any stocks in these firms to be able to separate the paper tigers from the houses of cards. Anyone in this newsgoup know of any good resources?
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<%-name%>
• posted on September 6, 2004, 9:14 am
There is a flaw in your calculations. 42 gallons of crude oil, dose not yield 42 gallons of gasoline, after refinement.
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<%-name%>
• posted on September 6, 2004, 9:47 am
One barrel of oil can be broken down in the following approximate percentages:
46% Gasoline 22% Distillate fuel oil 11% Jet fuel 5% Still gas 1% Lubricants and wax 4% Coke 4% Liquid petroleum gas 3% Asphalt
Again, these percentages are approximate. One barrel of crude oil can yield around 17-29 gallons of gasoline, dependant on crude oil quality, and product requirement by the refinery.
GMdude
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<%-name%>
• posted on September 6, 2004, 3:57 pm
Don't forget that a barrel of crude only yields around 18 gallons of gasoline after refining. Then when you add in federal excise, transport and state taxes you see where the money goes. I know in NY the taxes account for over 70 cents per gallon. That is before transport costs are added.
--
Steve Williams
Near Cooperstown NY
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<%-name%>
• posted on September 6, 2004, 4:33 pm
The real question here is, is it really \$45 a barrel and to whom? Is it just that on paper and there is a back channel of cash flow?

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<%-name%>
• posted on September 7, 2004, 2:26 pm
snipped-for-privacy@ihatespam.net (SgtSilicon) wrote in message wrote:

I think the poster is just looking for a stock tip here, disguised as an automotive question.
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<%-name%>
• posted on September 7, 2004, 3:25 pm
On 7 Sep 2004 07:26:51 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mcpmail.com (Al Bundy) wrote:

Partially. Though I guess I want to see through the BS to what is actually the case with the price of fuel. Every time we turn around we're told the price of fuel is high for a different reason (low reserves, low capacity margins, terrorists, 4x4's, EPA regulations, El Nino, Cold winters, hot summers, etc, etc, etc).
It is just puzzling to me that a relatively finite resource with an established track record (100+ years) can have such profound erratic pricing. If I didn't feel like I was getting played for a fool every time I filled my car & van I suppose that it wouldn't bother me, but with GM withdrawing the Impact and very few viable options I'm thinking that if we can't beat them, we'll have to join them & I'd be disappointed to buy an Enron of the Oil patch.
If I could buy a Suburban or Denali that was powered by electricity with a 600 mile range I'd be happy, but what is out there? At 40,000+ miles a year fuel predictability and cost begins to be an issue worth thinking about.
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<%-name%>
• posted on September 7, 2004, 11:44 pm
wrote:

And I was partially joking with you. These price changes are a mystery. I have seen the local BP price change 15’ in the same day and be back where it was the next day. They got used to changing the price so often they put the sign on the ground so the attendant no longer had to climb a ladder.
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<%-name%>
• posted on September 8, 2004, 1:19 am
On 7 Sep 2004 16:44:11 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@mcpmail.com (Al Bundy) wrote:

LOL.
Even though it's as true as can be it's still funny as F*ck.
It's sad that in a society where we regulate the temperature that coffee is delivered at we can't seem to get our government to regulate fuel price fluctuations.
"As not what the people with the power and money can do for YOU. Ask what YOU can do for the people with the power and money"
Slightly paraphrasing a speach given by a famous American.
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<%-name%>
• posted on September 8, 2004, 2:48 am
wrote:

You want the government to put price controls on fuel now? How about we let the market decide price, but we crack down HARD on illegal trusts, back door dealing, and other anti-competitive practices? I'm for the 2nd solution.