Chris Hayes to Olbermann: ‘Our’ Gulf Oil gets sold on World Markets

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

This was a stunner.  

With all the hoopla about how America desperately needs to become “Energy Independent” — and SO the “urgent need” to Drill off OUR Shorelines — well it turns out, all that Drilling and Spilling, is just for Barrels of Oil, destined for resale on the World Markets!

Turns out — “Our” Gulf Oil is just another “fungible global commodity“!

Huh, what?  Fungy-what?   Does that mean it’s “more fun”?

No.  Fungible simply means something is “interchangeable”.  That One unit of something (like a barrel of Oil) is worth just as much as any other Unit of that same something.  One Ounce of Gold, is exchangeable with any other Ounce of Gold.

Or as Chris Hayes succinctly put it:

There’s NO barrels marked somewhere, “Foreign.”

Say What?  I thought we were risking our precious Ecosystems, to “free ourselves” from the need of Foreign Oil — to increase our “Domestic Reserves”?

If British Petroleum, can pump it and dump it, on the Global Marketplace, where one Barrel of Oil is identical to every other Barrel (assuming no disastrous spills of course) —

Then what the Hell is the Point?

I was listening to K.O. as background wallpaper, while busying myself with blogging and such — when this stunning conversation JUMPED right off of the screen!  I had heard about Fungibility before, but now it was being drawn in the stark black and white context, of the pending Gulf Coast disaster …

So for your further wonderment and elucidation, I present that, stunning Political News segment, definitely worth thinking about:

Keith Olbermann and Chris Hayes, editor of The Nation, discuss the Politics of the Gulf Oil Spill.

Monday May 3, 2010  

Link to MSNBC Video

The entire clip is good, but the cut that made me take notice

was the Segment 6:40 – 7:10

Here is that Transcript:

OLBERMANN: The arguments also, speaking from the right, that the “drill baby drillers,” like half-Governor Palin, that domestic drilling remains crucial to energy independence, the oil that was–that’s coming out very successfully right now, unfortunately, not into anybody’s coffers but the B.P. oil and other companies in the Gulf and elsewhere, this is not–when it is not spilled and destroys ecology, it does not automatically go into the U.S. and does not automatically go into the domestic reserve.  

It’s sold on the open world market like every other

HAYES:  That’s right.

OLBERMANN:  — barrel of crude that comes up safely out of the desert in — you know, in Saudi Arabia.  Wouldn’t that make that entire “drill, baby, drill” argument, what’s left of it after this disaster, sort of hogwash?

HAYES:  Yes.  It has been hogwash from the beginning.


HAYES:  I mean, it’s been incredibly frustrating.  And you just said this very well and we should repeat it a million times, and spend an hour talking about it because it’s really important.  It’s a fungible global commodity.  When it comes up out of the ground, it gets sold on international exchanges.  

And so, there is no such thing as reducing our dependence on “foreign” oil.  There’s no barrels marked somewhere, “foreign.”

What you can do is reduce your dependence on oil.  When you reduce your dependence on oil, that is something you do on the demand side.  It’s not something you do on the supply side.  There isn’t enough supply to put a dent in the global escalation of prices for oil we’re going to see with China and India, increasing demand.

What we can do, is we can make our economy, our transportation much more efficient so we just don’t need as much oil.

Like I said — stunning.

I thought we were risking So Much (with Domestic Drilling) — because the consequences of not doing so, would just keep us “forever hooked” on Foreign Sources of Oil.   Turns out however, that Addiction is still Addiction. And suppliers are still suppliers — No matter where that “interchangeable commodity”, has been first tapped from the Earth.

We are risking our precious Environmental resources, to keep the economic engines of China and India running.   To keep the Global Oil Corporations, rolling in all those ‘Windfall Billions’.  To keep ourselves, still “dependent” on an ever more “obsolete” Energy Source.

Oil Addiction is still Oil Addiction. It’s a fungible global commodity

I’ve often thought Economic Literacy {and Science Literacy}, for the masses, is essential to achieving a true representative, people-driven Democracy. Sometimes you got to fight Fire with Fire.  Fight Econ-Fed speak with more Econ-worker speak.   Effect Supplies, by changing your Demands.

Sadly however, Economic Literacy is NOT a priority in America. Never has been. Probably never will be. Afterall it is easier to grow Fungi, if you keep the crop in the dark, and feed ’em plenty of BS.

fungible  fun·gi·ble    


  1. Law.  Returnable or negotiable in kind or by substitution, as a quantity of grain for an equal amount of the same kind of grain.

  2. Interchangeable.

n. Something that is exchangeable or substitutable.…

– Biggest US Gulf of Mexico offshore drillers  

March 31, 2010 (Reuters)

Here is a list of the Gulf of Mexico’s biggest players and their projects:


BP Plc (BP.L) Thunder Horse, the largest oil and gas platform in the world, 250,000 barrels of oil per day and 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas


Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) Perdido, 100,000 barrels of oil per day, 200 million cubic feet per day of gas


Chevron Corp (CVX.N) Tahiti, 125,000 barrels a day of oil, 70 million cubic feet per day of gas



Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.N) Independence Hub, 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day; Marco Polo, 120,000 barrels a day of oil,


Apache Corp (APA.N) Geauxpher, 91 million cubic feet per day of gas;


BHP Billiton, Australia (BLT.L) Neptune, 50,000 barrels a day of oil

Just another Day of Big Business in America The World.


    • jamess on May 5, 2010 at 5:07 am

    but then again, that doesn’t take much.

    BTW, minds smarter than me have explained,

    it is the The Price of the Barrel of Oil, that is Fungible on the Global Exchange —

    Not necessarily the Actual Barrel itself.

    It’s the price that gets “exchanged”,

    in future commodity markets,

    not necessarily the Gulf Oil being extracted,


  1. … the import spending that is a big drag on our economy.

    And even there, if BP drills it, then their profits to headquarters are current account outflows, just on the income account instead of the trade account.

    As far as the price, we produce twice the oil per person as the world average, and consume five times the oil per person. We’ve got just under 10% share of oil production and just under 25% share of oil consumption.

    That makes it too obvious where our leverage on price lies, so we won’t be hearing politicians saying that anytime soon.

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