View Full Version : About these petrol emails going around.........

21st May 2008, 23:10
I keep getting the one where they say not to buy petrol from the big two companies B.P and Esso. Says something about if so many people didn't buy from them they would have to change the prices.

Question is how, if possible would this work?

Copy of the email;

It's worth reading this. It's not your usual, crappy joke forward, but an interesting idea on reducing petrol prices!
All we have to do is actually DO IT !!!!!
> See what you think and pass it on if you agree with it
> We are hitting 123.9 a litre in some areas now, soon we
> will be faced with paying 2.00 a ltr. Philip Hollsworth offered this
> good idea:
> This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the 'don't buy petrol
> on a certain day campaign that was going around last April or May! The
> oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't
> continue to hurt ourselves by refusing to buy petrol.
> It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them.
> BUT,whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can
> really work.
> Please read it and join in!
> Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have
> conditioned us to think that the cost of a litre is CHEAP, we need to
> take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the market
> place
> not sellers. With the price of petrol going up more
> each
> day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to
> see
> the price of petrol come down is if we hit someone in the pocket by
> not
> purchasing their Petrol! And we can do that WITHOUT
> hurting ourselves. Here's the idea:
> For the rest of this year DON'T purchase ANY petrol
> from
> the two biggest oil companies (which now are one), ESSO and BP.
> If they are not selling any petrol, they will be
> inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the
> other
> companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact we need to
> reach literally millions of Esso and BP petrol buyers. It's really
> simple to do!!
> Now, don't wimp out at this point... keep reading and
> I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!
> I am sending this note to a lot of people. If each of
> you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)... and those 300
> send
> it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) ... and so on, by the time
> the
> message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will
> have reached over THREE MILLION consumers! If those three million get
> excited and
> pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million
> people
> will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed
> it... ..
> Again, all You have to do is send this to 10 people.
> That's all.(and not buy at ESSO/BP) How long would all that take? If
> each of us sends this email out to ten more people within one day of
> receipt,
> all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted
> within the next 8days!!! Acting together we can make a difference .
> If
> this makes
> sense to you, please pass this message on.
> 69p
> It's easy to make this happen. Just forward this email,
> and buy your petrol at Shell, Asda,Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons Jet
> etc. i.e. boycott BP and Esso

21st May 2008, 23:23
Absolute bollocks, perhaps when the supermarkets have their own oil refinererys and oil wells then possible, but at the moment all supplied by such as BP and Esso, so won't affect them at all.

Notso Fantastic
21st May 2008, 23:24
Something over 1/3-1/2 of the cost of petrol is taken by the IR in tax. It's not the petrol companies profiteering as much as Good Old Robber Brown! Personally I would rather it was taken in petrol tax rather than added to other taxes such as Income Tax- at least we can be sure that everybody, even spongers, will pay, rather than just a smaller population of allegedly 'high earners' who are taxed to the eyeballs under Brown's regime!

So place the blame where it belongs! A profligate and outrageously high-spending Labour Government desperately trying to raise whatever taxes it can (usually under a laughable 'Green' disguise). I shall boycott the Labour Government and never ever vote Labour! Woops, I already do that!

This will just drive me to fill up at BP or Esso. How does this excessive revenue raising appear to the oil producing countries? They must see themselves as taking the blame for the sake of tax raising in the consuming countries.

Fg Off Max Stout
21st May 2008, 23:29
I'm no fan of fuel prices but it always grips my sh1t when I see this chain email (and I've seen it a lot over the last couple of years). The logic is flawed.

If everyone sticks to the deal of not buying from Esso and BP, then yes they would reduce their prices. However, their competitors could increase (not reduce) their prices in response, due to increased demand for their products. Esso and BP could be giving petrol away free, but if everyone sticks to the plan of not trading with them then there is no reason why competitors would have to reduce their prices to match.

If, as soon as Esso BP reduce their prices, a large number of people flake out of the plan and start buying their cheaper petrol, then they can start to raise prices again and the market will return to equilibrium and approximate parity between fuel suppliers.

The real baddie is the govt, charging insane duty on fuel and VAT on the duty!:mad: As long as you need to buy fuel, price trends will never go down. Fuel prices will increase with inflation and as demand exceeds supply. Wars will be fought overtly over natural resources in our lifetime - mark my words.

21st May 2008, 23:37
Read a few days ago it was about 73pence per litre in tax.... :*

22nd May 2008, 01:14
When I read this e-mail, yes I got it too - several times :ugh:, I couldnt help but notice Shell wasnt mentioned once.

Now Im no petroleum expert, but if someone asked me to name the biggest oil companies I know, Shell would be the first name to roll off my tongue.

I cant help but wonder if this was some (poor) attempt at propeganda BY Shell, thinking they can steal business from BP & Esso... Mainly their customers, armed with an email address and an IQ below 25.

Have I missed something major which sets Shell apart from Esso & BP?

JB (Buys his go-go-juice from Morrisons :})

(EDIT to add: - Petrol is 0.7p per litre in Venezuela! Anyone have a tanker I can borrow?)

Curious Pax
22nd May 2008, 08:06
You would think Shell were the biggest, but although it partly depends on how you measure it they are actually 3rd of the majors, with Exxon(Esso) in front, and BP second. Total are pretty close in there too.

Although the proportion of tax to the overall cost of a litre is indeed exorbitant, it has actually fallen over the last few years. In 1995 the total cost was 54p/litre, of which 39.4p (about 72%) was tax. In Oct 2007 the figure was 95.1p total/63.7p tax (67%), and as the price increase since then has been the basic cost, the only tax increase is in VAT, and the overall proportion of tax is falling!

According to the AA's website the April 2008 average petrol price was 113.7p per litre. Of that VAT was 16.93p, and duty was 50.35p - so the total tax burden on a litre is now down to 59.2%!

Most people would agree that charging VAT on the duty part is a rip off - however even if they changed that it would only reduce the current price by about 5p.

22nd May 2008, 08:18
The email has all the hallmarks of the 'chain letter' style of email "New virus discovered blah blah blah - send this immediately to all your friends".

Whether there is merit or not in the idea, it is VITAL we all do what we can to prevent the saturation of the email system by the 'shotgun' forwarding of such emails.

The intent of the originators of such emails is usually the bizarre desire to cause havoc on the internet, and nothing else.

22nd May 2008, 08:38
changed that it would only reduce the current price by about 5p.
That'd do for a start!!! That's £3.00 a tank thanks!!! :ok:



22nd May 2008, 08:52
Comrade Brown is best placed to 'Do Something' Perhaps a chain email having a go at him might be better received?

22nd May 2008, 10:17
Surely, nobody really thinks this will work? (I am continually amazed by the ignorance of many to the free market:ugh:, but I digress)

Right, I'll try and make this simple. Imagine we all agree to stop buying BP, and instead fill up at Esso. For simplicity, lets say each had a 50% share of the market.

The result would be that Esso's sales would double, and BP wouldn't sell any.

Esso only produce enough petrol for their normal sales, so would be forced to buy extra stocks. Who would have sufficient stocks to sell? yes, quite obviously BP. Would BP sell at a discount, absolutely not - Esso would badly need the stocks so would be prepared to pay market prices.

In the meantime, many of the BP garage franchisees (mostly independant businessmen) would be forced to close down. Thus, there would be no competition to the Esso garages, who could charge whatever premium they liked. End result, fewer garages, higher prices.

22nd May 2008, 10:31
It's even simpler than that - when you need petrol, you need petrol!! Who on earth drives around trying to find a filling station of the right "brand", passing others of the wrong "brand", all the time running on fumes??? :} :rolleyes:



Curious Pax
22nd May 2008, 10:59
The other point to mention is that if you go and sit by the gates of a refinery you will see tankers from many companies going in and out, as they have agreements to supply each other. Each company then just maintains a stock of their own additive which is mixed in with the basic fuel when the tanker is restocked (the volume of additive per litre is very small).

This means that Shell (for example) can supply its filling stations in Scotland from BP's refinery at Grangemouth, rather than trucking it all the way from Stanlow on Merseyside. No doubt out of an eagerness to be environmentally friendly by keeping tanker mileage down, and keeping the delivery costs that are ulitmately passed to the customer down. ;)

22nd May 2008, 13:02
I for one am getting totally fed up with the rising fuel costs and how we people of the UK are being expolited to line the pockets of the governement who then waste our tax money on frivalous expenditure. I agree that the "dont buy from retailer x" wont solve the problem, but something needs to be done.

Many green campaigners are happy about the rising costs, someone posted on the BBC that it should be £10 per gallon so we can cycle or use public transport. I did a few sums this morning and it is still far cheaper for me to drive to work than me using public transport.

My journey to work is 9 miles and 15-20 mins each way. I reckon based on the cost and number of miles my car costs £0.13 per per mile in diesel. So, the communte to/from work costs £2.34 a day and takes 30-40 mins. On public transport, it would be £4.50 and 2 hours 30 mins.

Yes you could point out cost of buying the car, insurance, tax and all that, but I already own a car and the tax/insurance is the same regardless of the mileage per year.

I am hoping that the government will do something to take the burden off the motorist for once, but judging on previous actions I think it is unlikely.

22nd May 2008, 14:51
The tax on gas/petrol in the US is around 18.5 cents (37 pence) and both Billary and Juan McCain are proposing a tax holiday in the summer driving season. I think I read it would result in an average saving of $55 or so per family. In any case - not much.

It is not costing anymore to bring the stuff out of the ground and refine it, so basic economics would state that demand is outstripping supply and hence the "rarer" the finished product is the pricier it becomes. However, oil companies are reporting record profits, now how will they reinvest these profits or resdistribute the profits as dividends to their shareholders? So, I say invest in the oil companies and use the returns to pay for the increase in gas prices.


1st Jun 2008, 21:52
Putting aside for the moment the matter of duty and VAT, surely we should be looking more critically at the producers of crude oil ( whether state controlled or privately owned ) and the so-called free market price mechanism.
Price is supposed to be a function of supply and demand - but there is no way that consumption of oil has increased by 50% in the last three or four months, nor have I seen any evidence that consumption is likely to rise by 50% in the foreseeable future. So why should the price have rocketed ?
The answer is speculators and market manipulators. Create a fear of shortage, panic users into false demand via forward buying, and just watch the price rise. Now classic economic theory says that if the price goes up, so does supply - unless producers are in collusion with the market makers. Can you see BP saying " Oh dear, the price is going up; we must increase production " ? And whose profits are now measured in £billions ? Same with the state-owned producers in the Middle East.
Then listen to Shell reporting massive profits, and saying " sorry, guv, not our fault that the price is so high".

Fuel Duty is, if I am correct, a fixed amount per litre, rather than a percentage, adjusted annually in the Budget. VAT, however is a percentage on top of cost, duty and retail margin, and compounds the cost problem.

And let us not forget the retail margin, again a percentage ? Rising price equals rising profit - so what retailer is going to complain when he has a captive market and virtually no competition ? Yes there are some privately owned petrol stations, but who owns or controls the majority ? The same people who produce the crude.

We are being taken for the most massive ride in history, and there is seemingly nothing we can do about it. The oil producers are laughing as they gobble up obscene profits, the government is so deep in debt that they are only too happy to claw in the extra VAT, the retailers are enjoying more profit for the same work.

At least the guys who send out the emails are trying. Don't knock 'em unless you have any better ideas.

barry lloyd
1st Jun 2008, 22:02
Well said MM, and just about the most intelligent and unemotive appraisal I have seen of this situation.