Browsing the archives for the Petroleum category.

Another One Rides the Bus…

Environment, Local, Petroleum

Nashville MTA

In an effort to work within the constraints of Nashville’s current fuel crisis, I’m experimenting with public transportation.

Today is the first day of the experiment, and the initial experience wasn’t too bad.  Got dropped off at the closest stop to the house, about 1/2 a mile away. 

The bus hove into view at the appointed time, and I boarded and paid my fare with little fanfare or confusion.

There was an accident on the way downtown, that had traffic reduced to 1 lane each way, but the bus managed to squeeze past, and we got downtown without any further excitement.

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The How and Why of the Current Southeastern Gas Shortage

Best Of, Economics, Energy, Local, Petroleum

Updated: 9/29/2008:

Petroleum Pipelines

Petroleum Pipelines

The news headlines are full of the current gasoline shortage, here in Middle Tennessee, with pictures of gas stations desolate, and barren, or with lines stretching off into the distance.  Why is this crisis striking Middle Tennessee, but not Birmingham, or Huntsville, or Atlanta? 

Update: 9/29/2008:

This website shows the ongoing conversation in the oil trading industry, concerning this the fuel shortage, and may provide some insights on why the shortage is spreading.


How Oil Gets to Nashville

Oil gets to Nashville via the Colonial Pipeline, which as you can see by the map is a direct run through the heart of the southeastern United States.  You might also notice that while the pipeline runs through the southeast, it doesn’t run through Tennessee.   That would of course, be due to the Appalacian Mountains.  Thus, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville are all fed on branches of the main pipeline, as shown above.

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Welcome to 1973, 2008 style…

Advocacy, Economics, Energy, Environment, Petroleum, Society

This weekends Gas Prices

This weekend's Gas Prices

It’s been thirty five years since I’ve had to wait in line to buy gas.   When I waited then, the Arab world had found the power of scarcity, and gas cost around $0.40 a gallon.  The price of a barrel of oil was hovering around $12 and the world was going crazy.

Friday, with most gas stations dry,  I spent over 2 hours in line, waiting for gas at my local shop.  They had lines half a mile long, and had extra staff on hand to manage the craziness.  Gas cost $3.89, and the price of a barrel of oil is dancing below it’s recent all time high, at around $101.

People were losing their tempers, cutting in line, threatening other people, and generally behaving poorly.  There was a shooting a couple blocks from my home, that may well have been gas-line related.

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Fuel Prices Too High, Truckers Strike

Business, Petroleum, Politics, Society

Well, hopefully this will send a shock to our leaders to try and drive down the cost of fuel.

Truckers across several states, and trickling across even more, are now going on strike in protest of the outrageously high fuel prices. The prices are so high that in places where diesel is $3.50/gallon and higher, it takes some of these truckers over $1,200 to fill up.

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Big Oil, The War in Iraq, and The Real Numbers

Best Of, Economics, Energy, Petroleum, Society

Let’s pause for a moment, and consider some potentially related things.

Oil prices before we invaded Iraq (under the various pretexts of [1] Fighting Terrorism, [2] Taking care of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), [3] Getting rid of an evil nasty Dictator who kills his own people or [4] the Spin Du Jour) were at roughly $32 per barrel of crude oil.

Now, four and half years down the road, the price of oil has peaked around $78 per barrel of crude oil.

What does this really mean? It looks like the war in Iraq (for whatever reason) has tended to drive the price of oil higher. If the war had been a war for “cheaper” oil, you would think that taking over Iraq, would have worked to decrease the price of oil.

Instead, it looks like the War in Iraq has as a side effect (if not a designed, primary effect) been an effective control to the price of oil, by helping to limit the supply.

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Big Oil says “Ignore those Record Profits!”

Economics, Petroleum

Part of the reason that “Cost of Living” increases haven’t been able to keep pace with the actual cost of living, has been the spiraling cost of Gasoline and other petroleum based products.

There are a number of hypocrisies in both Big Oil (the multinational coporations) and Little Oil (your local gas station, who may or may not be part of one of the Big Oil companies).

Lets start with Little Oil, since they’re in our face, every day. Have you noticed that when the news announces that the price of raw materials (crude oil) are going up on the futures market, the price at the pump goes up, immediately?

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