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OT/Are all oil companies really just 1?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by hoggy, Sep 2, 2008.

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  1. hoggy

    hoggy TS Member

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    Sometimes I wonder if all the oil companies are really just one but in secret. Remember when you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time? And you didn't pay for air? And, you got trading stamps to boot? The gas stations used to fight for our business offering more Green Stamps than the other stations and lowering their prices in gas wars. Because none of this stuff ever happens anymore it just makes me think that all are either owned by 1 big corp in secret or in cahoots with each other. Let the discussions begin.
     
  2. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

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    Hoggy, it's called free enterprise and the market at work. Gasoline stations never "gave" anything away. Whether you got green stamps, had your windshield "cleaned" with an oily rag, or the oil checked, someone footed the bill for those things. Gasoline stations made their money on service. The oil-change and service bays paid the bill, just as the pop and chips pay the bill today. Gasoline, even at volume movement at the retail level, just doesn't generate a lot of income. It never did. Owners have their wholesale prices adjusted everytime they get a new load, and they price their product based on replacement cost. Further, when oil futures got to $145+, retail prices never really caught up. If it had, the price would have probably been $4.50 in the midwest.

    If you didn't do tune-ups yourself, the corner station charged you for the tune-up. You may have also replaced the tires and had radiator work, or maybe even an engine re-build. That no longer happens. The only cars needing plugs, points and condensers long ago hit the junk pile. Nothing needs tune-ups at 3k miles. Try 100k miles. Tires routinely go 45k miles plus. In the '60's you were lucky to get 20k miles from a set.

    The automotive service industry has gone to volume pricing. Jiffy Lube, auto dealerships, and service specialty shops have put the corner service station out of business. Tire and muffler shops survive, but "mom and pop's" gas station has long since bit the dust, the same reason 7-11's replaced the corner grocery. The corner places couldn't compete with Firestone Stores, Big O Tires, and Midas Mufflers. Even Sears, Kmart, and Sam's Club do more, and cheaper. And it had nothing to do with the oil companies.

    It takes money to maintain the air compressors, and what better way to do it, than for the user to pay? If I don't need air, why pay for a compressor sitting there for someone?

    There is no single, secret monopoly. Marketing and selling secrets only last in days, and not weeks. The guys on opposite corners react to each other, and keep prices within pennies, or even tenths of a cent.

    Sarbanes-Oxley, in light of what happened with Enron, has shed unheard of light on the corporate offices. Officers can now have criminal sanctions filed against them for malfeasance, or even incompetence.

    Dennis
     
  3. 22hornet

    22hornet Well-Known Member

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    Outstanding post, Dennis. My dad had one of those neighborhood gas stations, and if not for the service business, he would have gone broke. Gasoline sales alone won't cut it.

    I used to work for Union Oil Co. We got hurt bad because our company president(bless his heart, we all loved him) refused to see the writing on the wall and wouldn't get rid of the gas stations with service bays and convert to the convenience store format. We were losing market share fast, and company stock became undervalued. The result was the T. Boone Pickens run at our company in 1986. The company held him off, but at a great price. We reorganized into Unocal, and soon the beloved 76 brand was sold.
     
  4. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Foggy, your turn...
     
  5. lots of 24's

    lots of 24's Member

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    Funny how they are all the same price isnt it?

    Somebody, someday, is going to figure out how to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water and make it work in an internal combustion engine. Water will run our engines and our society.

    And all the greedy bastards will be stuck with their tanks and pipelines full of their 4 dollar gas. I hope I live to see the day.

    Will be interesting to hear the excuses they make up to raise their prices.......ohhh tide is coming up today, better raise it another nickel. Oops tide is going out today too, better raise it two nickels.
     
  6. hoggy

    hoggy TS Member

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    Won't work because noones gonna pay $5 a gallon of water. Or will we?
     
  7. pendennis

    pendennis Well-Known Member

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    lots of 24's - It's already done today via electrolysis. Problem is, it takes more energy to convert than it produces. Ford is testing Hydrogen-powered vehicles now. Problem is getting safe, adequate fueling stations, and the aforementioned cheap electrolysis.

    Dennis
     
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