Woe, woe, woe to the Oil and Petroleum Industry

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

The wildcard for embedded systems was the oil industry. The threat is to the oil and its the bottom line of everything else y2k is affecting. Oil is the archilles heel of the global economy. We better start praying for the oil industry that y2k won't KO it off it's feet. Y2k is slowly chipping away at each refinery one by one munching in computer embedded chips, Y2K is an oil bug and those refineries are being eaten away at underneath the economy while everything else on top appears to be fine even if the power is still on and running, that won't be for long if this undermining of the oil continues because the power grid runs on oil, when oil stops, oil-run power stations go down having no fuel, they were only designed for running on oil, then that carries onto the transport, no fuel, no coal to deliver to coal-driven power stations so those shut down as well, and no transport means shortages of all kinds.

-- Brent Nichols (b-nichol@ihug.co.nz), January 23, 2000


Please remember that nothing is set in stone, it may or may not happen this way. It is best to get yourselves prepared in case it does. Oil is needed to make sure that all parts of the economy can move and interact freely and smoothly, but when the oil flow is restricted or begins to run out the economy starts to slow down with whatever oil that it has remaining, and finally when the oil is run out the whole system then begins to lock up. And if that ever happened, you will need your preparations, until the system can be unlocked or rebooted.

-- Brent Nichols (b-nichol@ihug.co.nz), January 23, 2000.

Good post Brent, but you omitted one very important factor, which is panic. When people cannot get fuel,look out. When there is not enough fuel to go around, someone will have to go without. Can anyone really walk to work, or to the grocery store?

-- Earl (earl.shuholm@worldnet.att.net), January 23, 2000.

Recall the oil shortages in the 1970s. Most people didn't walk to work; they car pooled or took mass transit (inconvenient, true). Some people bought motorcycles. There were long gas lines, and at one point odd-even day rationing (you could buy gas on odd days if your license plate ended in an odd number). At one point there were limits on how much gas you could buy (e.g., certain dollar amount or number of gallons). Diesel fueled cars became popular because they were more efficient (VW Rabbits got over 40 mpg).

Home heating costs increased so people insulated their homes, lowered their thermostats, and wore sweaters. Remember Jimmy Carter in his sweater? Gov. offices required lowered thermostats in winter (68 degrees) and higher ones in summer (78 degrees).

It was inconvenient, uncomfortable, and expensive. But life went on.

-- slza (slzattas@erols.com), January 23, 2000.


-- 8TH MAN (SSTOLOWSKI@TNNS.NET), January 23, 2000.

8th Man,
If you buy a vowel, I'll throw in a few lowercase consonants for free.

-- Possible Impact (posim@hotmail.com), January 23, 2000.

It is the EVIL Crouch Echlin Effect at work on embedded processors...

Mush ridiculed, it returns to bite the collective us in the A$$ with mucho expensive Petroleum products.

-- ~~~~~~~ (Z@Z .com), January 23, 2000.

Earl Wrote:

"Good post Brent, but you omitted one very important factor, which is panic. When people cannot get fuel,look out. When there is not enough fuel to go around, someone will have to go without. Can anyone really walk to work, or to the grocery store?

-- Earl (earl.shuholm@worldnet.att.net), January 23, 2000."

Yo, Earl!

I can walk to work, and to my grocery store as well.

I intentionally changed jobs back in 1996 so I would not be dependent on an personal automobile for my continued employment(since then I have also had 4 raises, making the move that much sweeter). I live in central Austin, Texas; as you may be aware, Texas has quite a love affair with automobiles. I am viewed as somewhat eccentric for my mobility choices. Personally, I am thrilled that my auto maintenance, gasoline, and insurance premiums have been replaced with a $10.00-a- month bus pass and better health from all the walking I do. Groceries go into a backpack, or on the bus if there are more things than my backpack can hold.

I did use my automobile for many of my Y2K preps, but it sits in the garage now. I have all of my basic tools, and I continue to add to my food/medical preps each week with an additional bag at the grocery store/pharmacy. I used it because it was the most expedient thing to do; I could have done everything I needed to do on foot, but it would have taken me a lot longer. For now, I'm living my life as if I will be doing everything on foot from now on, to get used to the routine.

You don't need a car; you just need to plan your life and the travels you'll be taking in it.

Peace and Love,


-- Shimoda (enlighten@me.com), January 23, 2000.

Z@Z, My fear is not the price but the lowering of product possibly that only essential services get it at all. Then we will all be commuting in the back ot trucks or on top of a railroad car. LOL If what your saying is correct it could get more than interesting .

-- 8TH MAN (SSTOLOWSKI@TNNS.NET), January 23, 2000.

Brent, you seem to be saying this WILDCARD is now being played. That may be our take, yet it remains an unproven theory. Let's not jump to conclusions untill the facts provide undeniable evidence. There are other options to consider.

1) The only shortfall in supply appears to be in the northeast/east coast. Below freezing temps. appears to have caught the Oil companies with their pants down. Prices have always chased demand.

2)OPEC is limiting supply. Any disruptions via embedded systems have not been proven. We shall see. One thing we do know, OPEC wants higher prices and I don't think we have reached their target. The world economy swings on oil; if OPEC breaks it down where would it leave them? Good question, NOT y2k.

3)There has been enormous disruption to our refiners/pipelines. These ARE having a negative effect on supply in the northeast. Others here are working on a baseline to access a timeframe that we may judge our present disruption with the past.

If embedded systems prove to be a facture, as you have stated so positively above, than I will acknowledge your entire statement is true (with exceptions). Untill then, give me the facts.

-- Tommy Rogers (Been there@Just a Thought.com), January 23, 2000.

Crouch Eichlin Effect? Would you explain? Thank you. Pam.

-- Pam (jpjgood@penn.com), January 23, 2000.

Don: I live 68 miles from the nearest store of any kind, especially groceries. I will be glad to let you do my walking for me when I need to eat!

-- A.Boulden (maboulden@gilanet.com), January 23, 2000.


You hit the oil-fired power plant issue, which has been largely overlooked before. Those plants that burn nothing but bunker oil will be in big trouble early into any serious shortage situation.

But if coal-fired power plants are shut down for any reason, the large majority of those plants require oil as fuel to preform their black-start process. Very few coal-fired plants have access to natural gas for use in start up.

To explain the need for fuel oil or natural gas at a coal-fired plant, think of building a fire. You use tinder then kindling to start the fire then put the full-size logs into the fire. Coal-fired plants use bunker oil or natural gas for up to twenty-four hours during a start-up before starting to feed coal into the boilers.

Dominoes. Dominoes. Everywhere dominoes starting to move.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), January 23, 2000.

A Boulden,

Don neglected to mention that he doesn't have to worry, he has a Travel Air that doesn't require fuel anyway...go figure. ;-)

-- Dee (T1Colt556@aol.com), January 23, 2000.


It also takes diesel to run the trains that carry the coal.

If half of the amount of oil is refined for a few months, it would severely impact the world economy...but there would still be a lot of oil for infrastructural uses.

I suspect that one of the highest uses of diesel will be to keep coal fired electric running.

The doomers are right that if the grid goes down, we all go down....humans will make immense efforts to keep the grid going..


-- i (think of balance @ triage .net), January 23, 2000.

I'm with Tommy Rogers, with one exception- we don't know the severity of the disruptions in oil industries until we have a basis of comparison with several previous years.

-- Forrest Covington (theforrest@mindspring.com), January 23, 2000.

PLASTIC! Practically EVERYTHING is made out of plastic. PLASTIC is OIL! Before all the cars and trucks run out of gas and oil, while they are starting to ration it, plastic manufactureres all over the map will be shutting their doors. Won't that be something...

-- Scooter (brucej@infoave.net), January 23, 2000.

A Boulden wrote:

"Don: I live 68 miles from the nearest store of any kind, especially groceries. I will be glad to let you do my walking for me when I need to eat!

-- A.Boulden (maboulden@gilanet.com), January 23, 2000."

Hey, A. Boulden!

Sure! You gonna pay me in rice and beans?

Seriously, I understand where you're coming from(no pun intended). Dunno what your land situation is, but have you considered storing some gasoline? Get'cha one of those big 500 gallon jobbies, and have the local petrol purveyor send a truck to deliver some to ya. Throw in some Sta-Bil and call it good. The guy I buy hay from has a tank like this out on his farm; he fills up his tractor and his truck from it. Add in some cases of motor oil and extra spare parts that tend to wear out in several months to two years, a few tools and some manuals if you don't already have 'em, and you should be in pretty good shape.

BTW, I did all of the above for my vehicle(used a smaller tank though; wanted to be unobtrusive). I won't break into my gasoline stash until I absolutely need it, and I won't put unnecessary miles on my automobile, either. If I need to get out of the city for any reason during a major oil crisis/global meltdown, I've got everything I need right here in my shop; no scrounging necessary.

Far from chastising you, but merely pointing something out; you choose to live in an isolated area. Usually when making the choice to "go it on your own," one evaluates the sacrifices that one has to make for their freedom from an urban setting. As I said earlier, dunno what your land situation is. If I had chosen(remember; no matter what you may think, you make your own choices) to live off the beaten path as you have, I would make arrangements for food and medical necessities when I could not make the 68 mile trek. I'd plant a garden at the very least, or lay in a bunch of canned goods. That way, if the vehicle broke down, I could still feed myself until I could call or e-mail somebody to airlift me outta there(and I notice you do have e-mail access; this gives you a form of communication that a truly rural and off-the-grid individual may not have. Without internet/telephone communications readily available, I'd make certain that I could be self-sustaining for months to years if I was as far away from help as you could be, if the oil industry goes belly up).

TMALSS; get some preps. Good luck, and be happy and safe.

Enlightened is good too; I'm still working on that one myself...

Dee wrote:

"A Boulden,

Don neglected to mention that he doesn't have to worry, he has a Travel Air that doesn't require fuel anyway...go figure. ;-)

-- Dee (T1Colt556@aol.com), January 23, 2000. "

Hi, Dee!

Been reading your posts; as always, they are insightful and interesting. Haven't had a chance to write much; the wife and I have been celebrating the "lucky 7th" anniversary. Lurked a bit though, in the wee hours. Keep the good stuff coming!

Haven't flown much, recently; the Grays revoked my pilot's license. As you remember, there are some folks who don't go in for the school of space/time...

Peace and Love to all y'all,


-- Shimoda (enlighten@me.com), January 24, 2000.

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