Oil production’s peaking? Snag a Hummer
Memo to self: Keep up with the Wall Street Journal‘s daily Oil-News Roundup.
Two choice nuggets emerged today. First, there’s this discussion of Royal Dutch Shell’s latest quarterly earnings report:
Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s fourth-largest publicly traded oil company, reported a tiny, 3% increase in first-quarter earnings from a year ago, but said the high cost of sucking oil and natural gas out of the ground could delay some exploration projects, especially long-term developments, including one planned for the Gulf of Mexico. Shell also said it could no longer promise to replace 100% of the reserves it depletes this year. [Emphasis added for the benefit of peak-oil enthusiasts.]
Next, on the auto-biz front, there’s this:
Though high gasoline prices have generally been anathema for General Motors, sales of its very biggest SUVs have actually been rare bright spots for the struggling auto maker. The Baltimore Business Journal reports that sales of GM’s mammoth Hummer have nearly tripled from a year ago, despite $3-a-gallon gas and the fact that, according to the Journal, it costs $3369 a year in gasoline to drive a Hummer 40 miles a day (in comparison, it costs just $973 a year to drive a Volkswagen Jetta the same amount). The Journal says people are buying Hummers precisely because of high gas prices — buyers want the world to know they can afford the gas. [Emphasis added for anyone who wonders how GW Bush could possibly have won election twice in what’s looking more and more like yesterday’s empire, and yes, I know he didn’t get elected the first time, but he did get close enough to steal the election.]