Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Date: July 13, 2006

Maybe they aren’t grouging us…

Wouldn’t that be a kick in the rubber parts, if the gas companies really aren’t raising prices unrealistically and they aren’t grouging us at the gas pumps?

Here’s some more research — Please note, the Barrel Prices comes from the Energy Information Administration and the prices for the gallons come from my own record (yes, I’m anal and I keep track of gas prices all the way back to 2002. I’m sure if I looked hard enough, I could find my notebook for before 2002).

Here’s what I found:

I tried to use data from around the sametime — I picked June because that’s when gas prices start their rise. Also, this is for gas purchased at stations located between Milwaukee and Racine, WI. Also, I did not adjust any of these numbers for inflation. I don’t figure that factors too much in since we’re only talking about a four year span.

The PricePerGallon is what I paid on the dates listed. The Barrel amounts are what the price of a barrel was during the same week. Now, the bad part of this is that the gas I’m pumping on 6/3/2002 wasn’t created from the barrel purchased at the same time, so the oil companies do make a little more off of the gas then they probably should, but I think it actually works out, as the prices at the pump drop when the price of a barrel drops — admittedly not as much.

Now, the % raise gas and the % raise Barrel is how much the gallon or barrel went up in price between the dates. You’ll notice that the Barrel raised at a higher % than the price of gas in each situation, if the oil companies “kept us even”, we would be paying a lot more for gas than we are. That’s the PriceRaised column. I took the price of gas and raised it using the % amount that the barrel was raised. According to my figures, on 6/1/2006, when I paid $2.99 a gallon — I was paying the correct amount. I don’t like it, but I think it was correct. (Of course, we could always argue that the price is off to begin with, but I still don’t know how much refining costs on a barrel of oil.)

I mean, I would hate to think that their profits really do come from the fact that more gas is sold, but I think what the oil companies are telling us just might be true.

And, isn’t that a kick in the rubber parts?

God Bless

Oil and Gas Prices

We’ve all heard tons of information on the rising cost of a barrel of oil and the rising cost of gas at the pumps. We’ve seen the oil companies post record profits and we’ve heard everyone say that the oil companies are screwing us.

I figured I’d get to the bottom of all of this. I want to know exactly why I paid $3.12 a gallon today when I filled up my tank. Afterall, the barrel price of $67.64 (as of 7/7/2006 — check the for more information) won’t be refined and in my tank for at least 3 months and maybe even 6 months. So, why am I paying such a high rate now?

The answer is — I don’t know. I think I almost have this all figured out, but I cannot find one place that will tell me exactly how much it costs to refine the barrel of oil (42 gallons) into the 20 gallons of gasoline. (I’ve seen different numbers for how many gallons of gas come out of a barrel of oil. One website stated that 55% of a barrel of oil becomes gasoline.)

I’m going to keep digging, but if anyone knows how much it costs to refine one barrel of oil — and remember, other products come out of that oil, so it isn’t all about gas — please pass it on to me. Otherwise, I might be researching this forever!

God Bless

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