English: basic map of USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NEW YORK — U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer.
Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.
The boom has surprised even the experts.
“Five years ago, if I or anyone had predicted today’s production growth, people would have thought we were crazy,” says Jim Burkhard, head of oil markets research at IHS CERA, an energy consulting firm.
This map shows the incorporated areas in Los Angeles County, California. Torrance is highlighted in red. I created it in Inkscape using data from the Los Angeles County Website (Los Angeles County Incorporated Area and District Map (PDF). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
California’s average gasoline price set a record Saturday of $4.614 for a gallon of regular, up 12.8 cents overnight – but anyone who filled up in the last few days probably isn’t surprised.
Gasoline prices skyrocketed after the Exxon Mobile refinery in Torrance was knocked offline Monday by a power outage. Other lingering refinery and pipeline problems also contributed to the soaring costs at the pump.
This is a big part of the problem with the economy. Companies like Exxon are profiting on the backs of our economic recovery. High gas prices have increased the cost of most items and taken a huge chunk out of the average American’s discretionary income. Discretionary income is what American’s have to spend after paying taxes and bills. Less discretionary income means people shop less, eat out less, take fewer trips, and cut back overall to close the ever-widening gap caused by rising gasoline prices.
So Exxon comes along and announces they made almost $11 billion dollars in profits for the first quarter after we just learned that economic growth was stunted, in part, from high gas prices. I am not advocating a departure from capitalism, however in light of the recent economic downturn; maybe these behemoth companies might make a little less profit so the economy can recover!
What I find hysterical is that Exxon officials know this news will “P-O” the public and are wondering how to “spin” the negative effects of their greed. You deserve all the negative publicity you get!