The book by Lisa Margonelli narrates Gharib’s story concerning challenges that face independent gas dealers. It starts by recounting how Gharib acquired a gas station. Mobil initially owned the station but later sold it to another company. At first, Gharib found gas business to be easy since (Mobil) took care of all expenses. However, things changed when Mobil sold the station to another company that neglected overhead and maintenance costs. Eventually, Gharib bought the station. Nonetheless, working as an independent gas station owner was quite challenging. Lisa explains these challenges based on Gharib’s experience.
We will write a custom Essay on Gas Industry in the Book “Oil on the Brain” specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The book compares challenges faced by independent gas station owners to those face by branded dealers. It gives a clear contrast in challenges facing oil industry as portrayed by Gharib. Gharib’s experiences both end since he begins as a dealer and then, he ends up as an independent station owner. Clearly, the two experiences contrast. For instance, Mobil, a branded corporation, relieves Gharib of gas related expenses while he is a dealer. However, as a station owner, Gharib has to incur all the associated expenses. Moreover, oil market is more predictable to dealers than to independent owners. The author reckons that at least one out of six gas stations closes business in 10 yrs.
In essence, working for branded corporations gives dealers competitive edge over their competitors. Moreover, the unpredictable future of oil market makes it difficult for independent owners to work efficiently. For instance, independent station owners like Gharib become profitable when fuel prices are stable. However, this changes whenever fuel prices fall or rise. Moreover, sharp rise in oil prices lead to inversion, which results in losses. Multinational oil companies are accused of regulating market prices to their advantage. For instance, they charge higher prices in some stations than in others.
The book faults zone pricing which works to eliminate independent dealers. It also faults rising cost of fuel that ensures oil capitalism. Despite advancement in technology, it is still unclear what the future holds for the world’s oil dependent population. Fossil fuels are facing depletion at an alarming rate. In addition, green gas emissions are increasingly causing concern to environmentalists. The article on oil future by Imre Szeman confirms this in its analysis of oil capitalism. Moreover, it faults consumerism and individualism as the only drives for social change. In essence, both articles raise concern over the rising as well as fluctuating price of oil. Both authors feel that price fluctuations are causing oil capitalism. However, Szeman goes further to note that technology could also lead to hydrogen capitalism as the sector exploit fuel cell energy. Both articles are pessimistic about the challenges facing oil sector. They cry foul escalated by major players in the industry.
The future of oil industry is highly unpredictable. The rising cost of oil is also raising concern over its viability given the challenges it causes the world. The book by Lisa Margonelli on challenges facing gas station owners is clear on its criticism of major players who make it difficult for independent station owners to thrive. Similarly, Imre Szeman criticizes government and major players in oil industry for allowing individualism and consumerism to drive social change. This could lead to oil capitalism and it could bring about hydrogen capitalism. In essence, both articles allude that only the strong survive in oil sector. It is necessary to ask if the world is already experiencing oil capitalism. It is also necessary to question the intention of major players with regard to future of oil sector.