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http://tinyurl.com/86fqj hey jerome, this is a link to oil.com-all news about oil.  Came across it when I was googleing oil refinery fires.  There has been a rather unprecedented 'rash' of oil refinery fires and explosions around the world in the last 6 months or more that I know about.  The ones in Iraq are due to insurgents but the ones in the US and other places are deemed 'accidents'.   One in March here in the US in Texas when exploded and caused huge fire killed 15 people.  That particular refinery then had another fire a few months later as did one in Louisiana.   One big fire at refinery in India.  Believe there are more but can't think of them offhand.  

I'm beginning to think it's possible these aren't all just a series of unfortunate accidents. Add to that the fact that right here where I live is a refinery and I believe Chevron owns it and wanted to shut it down for good, saying it was too old to repair...cost of gas is tied to how many refineries are working and due to the huge outcry here it is still running but I don't know for how long.(oil company says their to expensive to build a new one-yeah because of course the oil companies have nooooooo money right).

"People never do evil so throughly and happily as when they do it from moral conviction."-Blaise Pascal

by chocolate ink on Thu Aug 18th, 2005 at 09:41:08 PM EST
I posted a graph not long ago that showed that the utilisation rate of the world refining industry has gone up steadily from 75% in the 80s to above 95% today. When equipment is running flat out 24/7, it breaks down once in a while (even more than in normal use) - and as demand id tight, it is also a lot more noticeable. So I would not put it to any kind of conspiracy - just reality striking back after many years of low investments (because it made no economic sense then).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Aug 19th, 2005 at 02:42:02 AM EST
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Jérôme is probably right, but I made the same speculation in one of the previous $100 oil threads - based on an analogy with the so-called California Energy Crisis, when it was PG&E and Enron who did the manipulation.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Aug 19th, 2005 at 05:39:28 AM EST
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The conspiracy happened in the 80's and 90's. More than half of  all refineries were shut down in the US. Refining had very low profit margins, they were consolidated (bought up) and shut down. I have little doubt that some were outdated as the oil companies claim, but not a great deal more than the ones currently in service.

By limiting the producers and through economies of scale profits have increased. Now, they say that in order to help out the economy and bring on more capacity US environmental rules need to be eased. Bush has helpfully suggested that closed military bases be used as refinery sites. Conspiracy may be a strong word for the "free market" reaction to deregulation, but it sure has worked out well for the usual suspects.

by toad on Fri Aug 19th, 2005 at 01:43:33 PM EST
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