A lot of people in this country blow smoke about "free markets", and dont really understand how they operate. That results in situations like the California energy market a cou8ple years ago with deregulation.
Here's the deal. No capitalist in his right mind want to compete on price, if he dosnt have to. Sometimes markets make you, and they may even financially reward you if you do. But not having to compete on price is better.
This situation is going to be one of the legacies of peak oil. ie the price gest bid up first, before people spend cash to satisfy it.
Anybody remember "stay alive till 85"? Its different now.
Su spent the bucks ahead of the price hike and now the come latelys are forced to pick over the less attractive acreage and get up to speed on the technology. perhaps this is why the diff in stock performance.
I was wondering when the pressure for activity would be brought to bear. The criticism of big oil is well founded. Between bean counters and petroleum engineers, they have put a lot of oil companies out of business. They are risk averse. After the mergers these guys were sitting on all kinds of assets including twice as many drillable prospects and a large contingent of talented explorationists. Instead of acting on this opportunity to expand the reserve base, the fired all the geologists and sat on the propects; preferring to milk the same old cow. Bush is very unlikely to apply the boot to derrier which would be appropriate. I don't agree with anything the author said about refiners. These folks have aggressively persued buyouts of poorly run refineries and make the billions of dollars investment necessary to keep them running and able to meet constantly changing emission standards as well as being capable of processing the heavy soure stuff. Kudos to the refiners / a boot up the butt of Exxon, BP etc.
Denial. The specter of ever higher imports, yes, Canadian oil is imported, even higher deficits, driven by OIL and not Toyotas, is too much to actualy come out and state, flat out. Better to feed the public facts, and let them draw conclusions. All the facts were in the story. If you want a picture drawn, connect the dots.
Inflation seems to be here to stay. BECAUSE of High Oil Prices.