Oil has been going up lately, much to the enjoyment of those of us in the industry. But friends, family, and neighbors who aren’t in the energy biz keep complaining to me about the much-overdue rise. “What’s going on?” they ask. “Why is it so expensive?”
They usually ask me this over cocktails, dinner or dessert. So I did a little research and found the best way to answer their complaints (as if I actually had anything to do with the fall-and-rise of oil prices anyway), was to give them some comparisons.
While they were sipping on their Crown-and-Coke, I reminded them that a barrel of Crown Royal . . . the very same barrel we notch oil prices in . . . came out to just under $8,500. The Coke they mixed with it is $148 a barrel. That shut them up, at least until the Crown kicked in and they started arguing about any other of a myriad of subjects.
And while doing my research, I found out that oil is probably one of the cheapest commodities per barrel of anything we use on a daily basis. Remember that a barrel of oil, as set by the Bureau of Standards, is 42 US gallons, not your typical 55-gallon drum.
For example: you’d think bottled water, simple clear Dasani bottled water (which isn’t spring water, just filtered tap water), would be cheaper than oil. Nope. A barrel of bottled water comes in at a little over $450 per barrel. Heinz Ketchup for your burger: $820 per barrel. And if you get the aforementioned ketchup on your shirt, a barrel of Tide liquid will cost you $681.
It doesn’t stop there. Starbucks coffee: $635 a barrel (and that’s for the coffee after it’s brewed, not just the beans). A Texas favorite, Blue Bell Ice Cream: $470 per barrel. Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup: $636. Windex: $827. Liquid butter for frying pancakes: $2,184, and maple syrup for those pancakes: $3,967 per barrel.
How about other types of oil? Well, store-brand Canola oil is $620 a barrel. That old can of 3-in-1 oil you have: $5,376 per barrel. LouAna Peanut Oil for frying your turkey: $441 per barrel.
Want a beer with your turkey? That’ll cost you about $1,100 per barrel (for cheap beer, I didn’t even want to start with pricey craft beers).
But the ones that really helped shut my neighbors up were the two highest I could find (I didn’t do liquid gold, platinum or silver, that would just be silly).
Liquid Paper, that correction fluid invented by former Monkee Mike Nesmith’s mom in Dallas, came out to over $11,000 per barrel. And the winner of all of them: Krazy Glue at $293,000 per barrel.
Even though it’s expensive, perhaps next time my neighbors start complaining about the price of oil, I’ll use some of that Krazy Glue on their mouth.