Gulf Oil CEO Grinds My Gears with Fear-mongering Nonsense (w/ video)


Joseph Petrowski

In an interview on CNCB’s Squak Box show, Gulf Oil CEO Joseph Petrowski “warns” Americans that reduced demand for oil – due in part to decreased reliance on fossil fuels for heating, plastics, and people driving less, in general – could drive the price of oil down to nearly $50/barrel, thereby causing instability around the world, from Iran to Venezuela to Russia. The fear-mongering sonofabitch is also quick to point out that a drastic drop in oil prices wouldn’t come with a drastic drop in retail fuel prices … but we already knew the oil companies have been price gouging Americans at unprecedented levels over the last 2 years, didn’t we?

We did.

You can sense Petrowski’s fear – and the host’s bizarre desire to suck up to Gulf Oil, for some reason – in the first few seconds of the CNBC interview, below. He talks about record oil production and the lack of accompanying record demand in the BRIC countries and the traditionally strong US/European markets as factors driving the costs down, but then talks up the bad news as if low oil prices are the 5th horseman or something. Watch it, and see if you see what I see …

… did you see it?

Did you see the stupid old white man who wasn’t quite sure how he was going to keep his way of life going responding to a threat to his status quo by shoveling a ton of bulls*** specifically intended to incite fear in under-educated middle-American minds? These nuts at MSNBS even called the segment “Pain at the Pump” which means something much different to me (and, I think, most of America) than it does to these Gulf Oil and CNBC clowns, who actually refer to a drop in oil prices as a harbinger of some sort of “economic armageddon” and about a minute into the interview.

The best part of his nonsense is that, as a glorified grease salesman for Gulf Oil, Petrowski’s the guy who’s going to suffer the most from a drop in oil prices … which is awesome. I SO hate this guy.

This Petrowski jerk goes on to complain that Americans are no longer using oil for heating, and are almost fully “off” of oil for production of electricity. He complains about renewable biofuels. He complains that oil isn’t subsidized enough. He complains about the spread of democracy in the Middle East. He complains That’s right, kids: he’s complaining about progress!

Petrowski goes on to suggest that oil-producing Middle Eastern governments will fall into political unrest without high oil prices keeping the royal families strong, and that the political instability because of this drop in oil prices could strengthen Sharia and Sunni groups (GOP buzzwords for “ZOMG! Bad terrorists!”). To wrap it all up in a big ol’ ball of hypocrisy and “I dunno!”, Joseph Petrowski then says “nobody wants to live (under) a non-libertarian regime” about 3:40 in.

:: breathe, Jo- breathe ::

Because my editor will no longer allow me to call people nasty names and/or question the relative chastity of their mothers in published articles, I have come up with more measured, well-reasoned response (inspired by the late Johnny Carson).


Carnac the Great

Source: CNBC.

About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • Jason Carpp

    This guy is an idiot. We have plenty of oil, why do we need to rely on the Middle East for oil? Like a lot of politicians, all this guy is doing is talking about the problem, but what’s the solution? Is there a solution to the problem?

    • Educated Student

      Maybe the fact that 58% of America’s oil comes from international sources and over 80% of the world’s oil reserves are located beneath OPEC nations. The solution is natural gas.

      We have plenty of oil if you want to pay up the ass for it. It costs more to extract from US resources due to the type of oil reserves and the government regulation. This drives the price of oil up. Not to mention the environmental implications.

      • Jason Carpp

        Regulations be damned. We should be allowed to use what oil we have underneath us rather than having to fuck up other countries by drilling into their ground.

        • Jo Borras

          We *ARE* allowed to use the oil underneath us – it’s more profitable to sell it elsewhere, though (so we do!). As for fucking up other countries … why would we want to fuck up ANY countries? Ours, theirs, the space peoples’ … that’s not smart.

      • Jo Borras

        Huh!? You do realize one of the US’ largest EXPORTS is oil, right? As for OPEC, the issue here isn’t supply – it’s that DEMAND is falling off.

        I guess anyone can call themselves “educated” on the internet though, amirite?

        Also: did you see above where I politely asked you to get f***ed and die? That was fun. I feel like we’re friends now.

        :: hugs ::

        • Educated Student

          You’re right rolling stone, we do export oil. However the UNITED STATES is a NET importer of oil. That means we import more oil than we export. Is further explanation of the phenomenon necessary for you to understand?

          Check out the EIA’s website. (That’s the United States Energy Information Administration.) Actually, check out this link:

          Right there in the middle what do you see? Week ending 7/22/2013 US production: 7.49 MMBBL/d. Imports at 7.705MMBBL/d. THAT MEANS WE IMPORT MORE THAN WE PRODUCE. Sorry, that the estimate I made off the top of me head was off by 7%. Fact of the matter is this.. We still depend on foreign oil. If we only produce 49% of oil then where does the other 51% come from? Your ego? No, FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Good work, student.

            Now check out gross exports of oil, diesel and gasoline.

            What you’ll find is that we import crude and export refined….

          • Jo Borras

            That is usually true, yes!

          • Jo Borras

            Your math only makes sense if we use 100% of the oil we produce. As it stands, we are a net EXPORTER of fuel, per the API and Wall Street Journal, as of 2011 and will continue to be through 2020, based on 2011’s inflated demand (which we are under, by the way).

            Thanks for calling me “Rolling Stone”, too, by the way. Makes you look like more of a jag.

    • Jo Borras

      You’re right about the oil, but the issue isn’t where the oil comes from (I mean, for HIM it is, because that’s where the oil THAT HE IS SELLING comes from), it’s that global demand for oil is cooling off. We’re not talking peak oil here – we’re talking “demand has peaked”. The tide has turned, and this douche is scared.

      • Educated Student

        Gulf is an american company you f%$king momo. Buying from gulf supports american jobs. american truckers, american gas stations, american offices. Are you going to point the finger at everyone who benefits from foreign oil? Get ready to call out every american that uses a gasoline car. 247 million of them

        • T Adkins

          Yes US companies more dollars to the US, no one is arguing against that. What is being talked about is those 247 million car driving Americans are not buying the amounts of oil related products they once did. Yet the world is still buying oil, huge and historic amounts of oil but not as much as we did. An Oil company like Gulf will now make less Billions in profits or even on ….gasp…. Hundreds of Million in profit.

          • Jo Borras

            I am.

        • Jo Borras

          You’re the momo, momo. Gulf oil, as it stands, exists primarily as a holder of intellectual property with its corporate HQ in London, and ownership split between Spain and Portugal, with some Irish gov’t ownership tossed in. What you are thinking of is the American Gulf brand which was rolled into Chevron in the 1980s. The brand’s logos and patents exist as the new corporations.

          So, looks you’re 100% wrong. Please die now.

          • Educated Student

            Wow, this show’s your knowledge. Gulf Oil, LTD is international with headquarters in London. Joe Petrowski is the CEO of Gulf Oil, LP which is a PRIVATE, AMERICAN business. Headquartered in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. (which is one of the 50 states, FYI) They purchased the branding rights from Chevron in 2010. #greatresearch I mean, even wikipedia knew all that!
            Thanks for the death wish!

          • John Curley

            Numbnuts, It.s always better to have a clue what you’re talking about, prior to opening your mouth(or keyboard). Gulf is privately held, here in the US. Anything else you’d like to enlighten us about?

      • Jason Carpp

        Has it?

  • UncleB

    Fact remains: U.S. now shares world oil with China and China does not follow precise Corporatist logic. Fuel prices will continue to rise in the U.S. even with severe cut-backs in oil use in the U.S. as China slowly increases demand and other Asian populations follow suit, and as long as the Fed’s with Easings water down the U.S.Dollar. Even as Thorium (debut 2017) makes electricity the energy of choice over oil and coal in Asia, the demand for oil will continue to rise with prosperity, education and population there. U.S. must free itself from total oil dependence, coal dependence, and move to Solar Wind Wave, Hydro Tidal,Geothermal, Biological, the new nuclear, Thorium fuelled energy systems to follow now in China’s huge foot steps. Average “cost per peon”/”output per peon” must be brought into closer alignment with the “Asian Reality” and then through careful selective breeding programs as in China, the U.S. population must be engineered upwards in numbers, downwards in running expenses per peon, to compete or America will be devoured like fattened calves at the Asian Alters to their new communist gods. Fact is: 7 or 8 Indian PhD’s consume less than one American labourer today! This sort of American EROI is why U.S. products are usually under-engineered, under worked, and more expensive than their Asian counterparts? Fact is: in the new Global Village Economies – you will consume as you produce, and not more. America faces paradigm shifts unparallelled in history. America, the largest debtor nation on earth, in all history now, and facing the hungry and highly efficient Pan Eurasian masses as was once feared, and tacitly acknowledged in the following American Doctrine:
    “It is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America… In that context, how America ‘manages’ Eurasia is critical… the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.” – Zbigniew Brezinski, The Grand Chessboard
    Pan Eurasian Alliances have so formed. China Russia deal in Yuan for petroleum products today. Iran is being forced to do so even trading Gold for oil with India on black markets as U.S. trade embargoes squeeze them to do so. India flies Migs now, not U.S. planes? China/Russia jointly share aircraft, reactor, warplane, military technologies today. All while U.S. Industrial centres like Detroit City bankrupt in despair, never to be built upon, never to be rebuilt again, but returned to pasture land and brush land wasted polluted and destroyed: This is the mighty industrial power that will challenge a rising Asia? Dominate world oil markets? Food markets? metal markets? Dream on!

  • Educated Student

    It has taken me considerable time to cool down from reading this “article” in order to post this comment. However, I did want to avoid stooping down to your childish level of posting ridiculous opinions on the internet in hopes of stirring up controversy to gain publicity. (We’ll call you Rolling Stone magazine for now.)

    With that being said, I did want to thank you for making a fool out of yourself, Jo. Your emotional response really helped me gain further understanding of the industry. #useless

  • mandatory_field

    When I read a loopy blog like this, I’m embarrassed to have solar panels on my roof.

    • Jo Borras

      I like that! Here, I got you a thing.

  • A larger US supply doesn’t mean much if it costs more per barrel to produce it… cheap oil peaked years ago…


    • Jo Borras

      Not so fast, sir! Industry analysts are saying costs are dropping for manufacturers and refiners … just not consumers!

      • Yes, but the cost to produce the oil is higher which feeds the refiners to make the gas… if oil is $100, there’s no way to refine and sell gas at the pump for cheap…

        • Jo Borras

          Read the article – costs have fallen, prices haven’t, per oil industry experts, which I have to assume neither one of us is.

          • refining costs falling has to exclude the main cost, the feedstock or oil itself…

        • Markwbrooks

          True, and extraction costs are only going up, not down. By 2017 the last of the Canadian tax payer funded oil sands “incentives” expires(15% – 20% impact on extraction costs). Plus the price of natural gas, which is used to steam the oil out of the ground is near an all time low , and is expected to go up, not down.
          But what the Man in the video really is worried about is that HIS profit margin is disappearing between rising feedstock costs, disappearing tax breaks, and falling end product demand.
          If he wants his Million dollar Bonus this year he will need to cut some fat!

  • Markwbrooks

    There are thousands of capped in situ wells in the oil sands that have already bees drilled, but are below production costs. So they just sit waiting for the price of oil to hit production break even….. And today 108$ a barrel isn’t it.

    • Jo Borras

      Correct! US oil use is market-strategic. Peak oil will be the best thing to happen to North American oil economies in the last thousand years.

  • Bob_Wallace

    Oil company people starting to see the end of their ride arriving.

    I love it.

    Let’s make the last generation of our ICEVs really efficient and speed our way to the electric cars of the 21st Century.

    Screw Big Oil.

    • Jo Borras

      Amen, brother!! 🙂

  • T Adkins

    I just can not see the price of oil getting down to $50 per barrel anytime soon. The US is hands down the biggest user and importer of oil. The US’s biggest single oil trading partner is Canada, oil sand is said to only be profitable above $65 per barrel. So I can not see the price going below the Canadian profitable oil price. The US gets more of its oil from NON-OPEC countries than it does from OPEC countries even with Saudi Arabia being our number 2 oil trading partner. In just February of this year Canada supplied the US with more oil than we imported from all our OPEC trading partners put together.

    With Canada making up more than 30% of our oil imports, the price shock of losing our northern oil supply should keep the price above $50 per barrel.

    • Bob_Wallace

      If we wish to stop the very nasty production of Canadian tar sand oil the best way is to price it off the market.

      Get our oil use down and drop the price of a barrel below the extraction/shipping/refining costs of Canadian sludge.

      Get the gas guzzlers off our road.

      Get drivers into fuel efficient cars and EVs/PHEVs.

      Improve public transportation.

      Reduce demand and Petrowski’s fear will consume him.

      We can also remove interest in drilling in the Arctic Ocean and screwing up another part of the planet.

      • Not gonna happen if we bomb Syria.

        • Bob_Wallace

          We don’t get any oil from Syria. And the Saudi’s are telling us to bomb them.

          With Syria we’re stuck with an awful choice. Their current government is a bunch of murdering thugs and the opposition is partly the religious extremists that are as nasty as they come.

          The take-away here should be that we should redouble our efforts to do all the things I listed. Get our oil use minimized. Get it down to where we could supply what we needed from inside the US lower 48 for the next 500 years.

          (I.e., get our oil use to almost zero.)

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  • Educated and concerned

    The author is a child and this article is trash. Get an education. Get a degree. Finally f***ing grow up.

    • I have both. Turn off Fox News and leave your cousin alone.

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