Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Sunday, September 18, 2005

How Oil Companies Lie to Consumers 

I was at my local Petro Canada gas station the other day and picked up a brochure that explains how the oil companies are eeking out tiny profits in spite of the outragous cost at the pump. As you can see from the picture on the left, Petro Canada would have us believe that they make a paltry 2% profit. You can read their whole pitch by clicking here. In describing their profits here's how they say it.

"The two per cent profit represents the overall 2004 Petro-Canada marketing and refining profit as expressed in audited financial statements. That’s less than $1 on a 50-litre fill."

Gee. Audited financial statements so they must be right. I wonder who is getting all the money if it's not the good folks at Petro Canada?

As you can see from the healthy rise in Petro Canada Stock, from about $30 a year ago to about $50 today, investors don't seem worried about the measly 2% profit.
They know that Petro Canada has up stream operations (finding and extracting the crude oil) and downstream operations (the marketing and refining part). They also know that the upstream operations are making windfall profits selling the refined gasoline to their downstream operations but that the profits all still belong to Petro Canada.

I'm used to being screwed by oil companies as are all Albertans. It's part of what binds us together. But I wish they would just screw me and quit trying to tell me they're not.

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