Originally Posted by RossWilliams
The price went up @$1.50 between last May and this May. $1 of that happened since January and the average is now over $5.
There is no doubt that the current high prices are directly related to the disruptions created by sanctions from the war. There is also no doubt the oil companies are taking advantage of the war to make more money. I am not sure we SHOULD do anything about that, but its not an inevitable natural phenomena that we can't do anything about.
But, when the oil industry was losing money, did we do anything to prop them up, like so many other industries expect?
Part of the issue is everyone, starting with Wall Street, focuses too much on short term returns. If a company is not making a decent return on investment, investors go elsewhere. I would love to see a longer term look at the profitability of the O&G industry. Comparing 2022 to 2020 or 2021 is not a useful measure of anything.
The reason that EVs have progressed as slow as they have, even with huge government intervention on a world-wide scale, is the return on investment. A new I-Phone may have a return on investment measured in months, at most a year. Vehicles, especially a whole new baseline like EVs, have a return measured in years, if not decades.
Similarly, a new oil well may have a return based on a year or two, but the refinery needed to produce gasoline from that well may take 3-4 years to construct and have a payback of 10 years after it goes into production. An investor looking at this in the shadow of Al Gore flying around in his jet fuel powered plane telling us for over 20 years the world is going to end if we don't eliminate fossil fuels immediately and a current administration's attack on the fossil fuel industry is going to be reluctant to invest.
Sadly, the entire environmental issues from the EPA coupled with a "not in my neighborhood" approach to refineries has really hampered the industry in the US.
Most of what I read suggests that refinery output is at about 90% of capacity. I don't know about historical numbers, but that seems pretty good to me.
What people are asking the oil & gas industry to do is to run wild like there is no end in sight, until one day, we pull the plug on them, no pun intended, and tell them they are no longer needed. The O&G industry has been warned, the writing is on the wall, and they are operating under the plan that their days are numbered.