DrumBeat II: October 18, 2006

First check out this Gas tax article from the WaPo, then watch Barack Obama last night on the CBS Evening News (a 90 second spot on energy policy):

I think darwinian will like this one
'Grats on the lobbying OilCEO - something a bit fresher for us night owls.
Unless Obama has some skeleton in his closet that has yet to come out, I think the odds are high that he will be president in the not too distant future. He really opened up some eyes at the last Democratic National Convention, and he comes across as very sincere, and likeable. I wonder, though, whether he really thinks ethanol is an answer, or whether he is playing home-state politics.

Speaking of ethanol and politics, I saw something today in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that really pegged my irony meter:

Yesterday, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine joined representatives of General Motors and state and federal agencies in launching the first E-85 pump in the Richmond area. The pump, connected to an 8,000-gallon tank, is at a state fleet-vehicle office on Leigh Street.

Kaine touted the environmental and human-health benefits of a cleaner-burning motor fuel and praised the public-private partnerships that promote the fuel's use. He then filled up a GMC Yukon sport utility vehicle used by his office from the new pump.

Gosh, I guess every little bit helps. Maybe we can get some subsidies to buy everyone a nice Yukon, or a Hummer if they prefer.

That's been the problem with Obama -- it's hard to read where he really stands on the issues.  Overall, it seems he has the right perspective, but it's clear he is a masterful politician.  I would say I have some guarded optimism about Obama being good for the country.
Typical pre-election proganda crap from CBS and Katie the Airhead Kunt elect the Democrats Shill machine.  Where are the Free Speach comments from the Peak Oil warrior Roscoe? CBS won't air that because it might show that a Elephant man has the edge on this issue in Congress.
Ethanol give me a break how about some conservation?  Have the government pay for the Car Companies health care costs if they can give us a couple more mpg.  Give me a bend over and grab my ankles freaking break.  Obama is the new pretty boy for the Dems he may be the best they have but he is still an empty suit. Trust me CBS and Katie the Airhead will spread their legs anytime to advance Obama's career.  
I wonder, though, whether he really thinks ethanol is an answer, or whether he is playing home-state politics.

EVERYONE initially thinks ethanol is the answer.  I mean growing plants - good, helping farmers - good, it all sounds very green and very benign.  That is, unless and until you start really trying to evaluate and understand what you really have.  

Don't know Obama, but my impression of him is a guy who will (eventually) listen to fairly detailed arguments (on all sides) and make thoughtful decisions.  If true, then there is hope.  

While Frum might be the kiss of death for a potential candidate, This piece on NPR yesterday morning implies some degree of concerted effort by the powers that be.
I didn't get this line,

"At the same time, the United States must pay for the long war against Islamic extremism. Yet the United States spends one third less now than we did 20 years ago on national defense -- only about four and half percent of national income."

Is he talking about GDP?  I thought Defense was half the Federal Budget?  Is he thinking it must be more?  (I suppose so, if he so fully jumps into the idea that it's our military that will be fighting the Jihadis..

In 2005 the DOD spent 19% of the 2.5 trillion Federal Budget. 474 Billion vs 2.472 in outlays. Plus emergency funds for Afgan and Iraq.
We spend a lot on national defense through the intelligence agencies, many of which are not funded through DOD. Then there's the Dept. of Homeland Buffoonery.  Also, the absurdity in Iraq has repeatedly been funded through special appropriations that are not part of DOD's budget. My guess is that we are spending at least $650-750 billion/year on national defense.
Frum repeated the same statistic in a give-and-take with Robert Reich on NPR yesterday evening.  That refers to 4.5% of GDP, not Federal spending.
Frum's argument was -- and I'm paraphrasing -- that 4.5% of our national income is a small price to pay for economic and political stability. He's right, of course. The biggest threat to the Western Military/Industrial machine is a scarcity of resources.
Since you brought it up, how about the Governor of Montana?  He is clearly an energy wonk, although you might have some problems with some of his prescriptions. But at least he has apparently thought pretty deeply about the issues and could readily grasp any criticisms you might have.
Wow...that's pretty blunt from a currently-employed politician.  

I'd never really listened to Obama speak, but that dude has an anchorman's voice.  Not what you expect from such a skinny guy.

He's also got some charisma which is woefully lacking in most Democrats these days.

He's a bullet alright.

that dude has an anchorman's voice.  Not what you expect from such a skinny guy.

Thank God for Drumbeat II.

I have a lot of respect for Obama. I've met several congressmen and even more staffers, and his staff is one of the best in Washington, hands down. I haven't met him personally, but I follow his talks and such. I think he has a really good chance of being President one day. Probably not in 2008 -he needs to get more national exposure first, I think -but maybe by 2012.
You are an optimist. The 2008 President has a good chance of being impeached bc of the state of the union and the 2012 President is no doubt currently running for the school board some where.
Statistically speaking, Dems and progressives are all over energy depletion issues while the Repubs largely ignore it. This plays out as evidenced by the non-actions of our right-wing political leaders while the wing-nuts in the blogosphere and talk radio also say absolutely nothing.

Good on ya, Barack.

Do any of the major contributors of this site talk to politicans and try to educate them about these issues?

A while ago a little bit after the Hirsh report was released I discussed peak oil with a friend alot. He happened to be going to a fundraiser for Maria Cantwell. So he asked her what she knew about the subject. Basically what I got back was that she didn't really know much about it. This was kind of strange to me because she is the lead Senator blocking the ANWR drilling.

One of the reasons I enjoy this site is because there is good readable techincal material on the site that is explained reasonably well for someone who has a good understanding of math and science. If I were to meet with a Senator or House of Rep in the US Congress what should we say to them?

Maybe someone should just call up Obama or staffers to see what they know.


We've already done a good bit of that.  Probably our largest political effort was the distribution of a press release that our readership spread far and wide to a lot of political actors at various levels--we've gotten a LOT of feedback and response from that.  


I know there are quite a few staffers who check in here on a regular basis.  We have a standing relationship with Roscoe Bartlett whose be a good friend to the peak oil community.  In fact, I am efforting a couple of other things at the moment with regard to political action and activism.  However, these things take time to put together...

But any ideas that you all have, please do feel free to send them our way.

Its nice to hear about all those people this site is educating and has relationships with. Its encouraging to know these things. Its not all bleak like I sometimes think it is. I realize these things do take time, not sure how much we have left though.

One idea is simply to have a couple PDF's for particular purposes.

We could have a pdf aimed at asking questions of a elected office to judge who really understands these issues.

We already have a great pdf on changing the dialogue politically speaking, but maybe we can look at the blog that Stuart has about peak oil and distill it as a beginners tutorial on peak oil that we can pass to elected officals.

Just ideas off the top of my head.

Thanks for the prompt response Prof.


It's not enough to have a press release. It helps to talk to the relevant staffer. It is typically not hard to find that person. Call the office, sound like a sane person from the district, and ask for the staffer who focuses on energy. For staffers who know less about the topic, or with regard to a specific piece of legislation, a single-page fact sheet with headlines and talking points is helpful.

The Oil Drum could organize in a way similar to general-purpose political bloggers like Josh Marshall, by posting a general call to action, asking individuals to talk to their rep, and then posting the results to blog comments.

I've raised the issue now with a number of politicians. It's not easy. They will agree about resource depletion being a major concern, the need for more renewables, agree that people should conserve more or use more efficient technology, rising energy costs, climate change, etc.

What they don't seem to grasp (or admit that they grasp) is how this is a fundamentally new problem that our civilization will face. I think part of it is the politicians have a fairly sunny and optimistic face to keep up for the public. They have to talk about solutions and how they are going to solve problems. The types of radical solutions to peak oil would require them to call for shared sacrifice, higher taxes, more regulations, long term planning, instead of offering quick fix solutions that can be implemented before the next election.

So what I've done with my local work, is to combine the resource depletion issue with a plethora of other local considerations - quality of life, impact of traffic congestion, noise pollution, asthma/cancer rates, etc. New York is somewhat easier because you have a viable mass transportation system, people are genuinely concerned about global warming, people understand some regulation is needed to curb undesirable behaviors.

I guess what I'm saying is that you need to link peak oil to the other issues of the day and break it down a bit instead of dumping the whole load on them. Think of your ultimate goal and think of all the intermediate steps to get there. Start lobbying for step one and see what you can do.

I correspond regularly with government agencies from around the world - I say agencies because elected officials are non-permanent members of a current ruling party (China notwithstanding) and as it relates to long-standing policy, one must work with the deputy ministers, assistant secretaries and the like; in other words, the permanent bureaucracy.

A good example of this relationship can be found in the Defense Energy Working Group as created by but not facilitated per se, by members Bartlett and Israel.

Ya ya blah blah

Bill and Gore could have locked in a 2 cent or 1 percent per year untouchable fuel tax raise for 10 years and taken it through Congress easily. What do those guys know about exponentiality? Instead they go for a proposal (50 cents) they knew would fail. Yes, coincidence, they really tried, right?

Obama blabs the blab, but not once mentions perhaps driving less. It's just different cars and different fuels, and the show will keep running, with invitingly happy young damsel choirs singing and angels contented. The land of the free. Habeas Corpus. Obama voted what? He voted against. Safe margin.

You guys want to be impressed by that, go right ahead. Feel good. Enjoy it. It won't last much longer. If he does become president, you get just what you deserve. No-one rises in US politics without being approved. He fits a mold that will get a lot of votes (note: fix the ears).

There's a bleeping f°°°ing quote from a Council on Foreign Relations persona in the WP article, for Mary's sake. Wake up. They're all in that club. They are not your friends. They're not looking out for you. They are each others friends. They're pages. They are looking out for themselves, not you. They're addicted to power delusions. Never trust an addict.

None of these people deserve your trust for one second. You're being played. Osama, next act Obama. Same play, Act II. At least in Shakespeare's time, people threw rotten eggs and tomatoes. Try that now. Habeas Corpus.

Theatre can be nice and enchanting. But it's not real. You're watching actors.

I'm waiting for the politician who comes out and says we have to quit driving cars if we want to survive the 21st century.
he'd probably find himself the nuthouse if he did
Not always - but such a politician is unlikely to be a major figure seen in a major media outlet - if only because the car ads are a major reason the major media outlet makes the money to remain major.
> such a politician is unlikely to be a major figure

He/she can become a major political figure - for a while.
Remember the green politician in 1998 (short before the federal elections that brought the Greens into power) saying that a vacation flight once in 5 years was enough, and proposing 5 Deutschmarks for a liter of gas?

She didn't play any role after the elections were won (and the good jobs were to be distributed ..) I even can't recall her name .. (though I should have kept it in mind).

Boy - that will get the soccer mom SUV vote ;-)
campaign slogans you will never hear
"Scrap your cars to make an electric train"
"remove your 5,000 s.f.house and build a 100 s.f. per person one"
"No more babies"
"Let's work for the global minimum wage today"
"Ride a bike or walk"
"Eat less"
"You don't deserve (XYZ)"
Do you honestly belief that a global minimum wage is either good or possible?

It seems obvious that the sole beneficiaries would be rich country workers. It would not be good for the poor, supported outside of rich countries, or possible to implement.

How would you ever get the 2 billion people in China and India to agree to price themselves out of the market so that Americans can continue to hog the economic pie?

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- The American Chemical Council is warning the U.S. Congress that without more natural gas supplies, switching to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel could be difficult.

Because ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel has become mandatory, more and more natural gas is being required to produce the higher-priced motor fuel, the industry group said Tuesday in a news release. Specifically, natural gas supplies the methane, which provides the hydrogen used by most refiners to cut sulfur levels in diesel fuel to legally acceptable levels.

But with drilling for much of the nation's substantial natural gas reserves prohibited, the switch to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel could face challenges.

"If the nation is to be successful in our pursuit of cleaner diesel fuel, then Congress needs to change energy policies to help bring about reliable, affordable access to natural gas," the American Chemical Council said in a statement.

"The same goes for cleaner electricity generation, ethanol production and solar and wind power materials -- all of which require natural gas."


I just attended the Solar Power 2006 conference. The buzz was all about using Solar Tharmal to refine gasoline from crude. Strangely enough, refineries are the biggest user of natural gas in California. I'm sure the same is true of Low sulphur diesel. You need lots of heat to refine it. It is stupid to waste natural gas for this.

How ironic  to see a solar concentrator at an oil refinery.

Arnold will appear at noon on Thursday. The under secretary of DOE spoke about the urgency of solar power. He was almost screaming his head off and only once looked at his notes. I guess the robots are reserved for the top most levels.

First, I am glad to have the late night Drumbeat, it allows us post midnight posters to have a chance to read an entire string of conversation and not put our little missives at the end of a 300 post string.  Good job, I only hope there are enough of us night owls to keep it lively (I am a "vampire" as Oil CEO called me, not by choice but due to occupational factors, I don't get off work until after 12:30AM)

Now, to the natural gas issue and more.  This is one of the reasons that Matthew Simmons calls the coming natural gas crunch (or crisis, depending on how dim a view you take) worse in potential impact than the crude oil crisis.

Interestingly, the natural gas crisis is seldom discussed by politicians, even the more aware ones like Barack Obama.  If one assumes that knowledge is sparse among politicians about oil, it is almost certainly even far thinner on the subject of natural gas, a vexing subject even to the energy knowledgeable.

Really, what IS the situation with natural gas?  The gas industry and it's lobbies continue to say don't worry, there's plenty.  In the most abstract way, they are correct, when they point to the trillions of feet of gas still "out there" to be extracted.  What they don't point to as often is the way in which industrial and utility planners have come to rely on natural gas in making the great switch away from crude oil in the last three decades.  There is a lot of gas still out there to be extracted, but consumption is still climbing.

The famous NPC (National Petroleum Council) report "Balanced Options", which had on it's panel both Daniel Yergin and Matthew Simmons in 2003 (fancy that!) was very clear it's warnings that natural gas would become increasingly volatile in price, and at some point, the possibility of spot shortages and conflicts between residential, industrial, agricultural and electrical production demands would emerge.  So obvious was the threat that then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan testified before Congress that natural gas price issues could endanger the economy, a stunningly direct set of statements by the normally reserved head of the reserve (pun intended).

Matthew Simmons said in remarks after the famous (or infamous) Chaney energy hearings that he was not sure President Bush bought into the coming emergency on crude oil, but his people seemed to accept the natural gas crisis as real and immediate (perhaps the NPC report and Greenspan's remarks added to the persuasiveness of the argument).  It was then that we saw the Bush administration go into "action mode".  It has done so only twice since elected, in the Iraq invasion, and here, in it's full expediting of LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) importation.  Those two examples should give us an idea of the priorities of this administration.  They are well aware of the U.S. peril on energy issues.

Now, let us return to Barack Obama, ethanol, the Persian Gulf, and low sulfur Diesel....(do you really think I am going to try to tie all this together?  Well, just watch me...:-)

GreyZone said something very clever in our inaugural late night Drumbeat...
"No, politics from every side is a move within a move within a move. The problem is in attempting to unwrap all the layers of action from each player."

The junior Senator from Illinois mentioned only ONE actual energy alternative in his 90 second talk about energy: ethanol.  But it is no secret that many regard ethanol not as an "alternative fuel" as Obama calls it, but as a "fuel switching" operation, basically making a liquid motor fuel from North America's natural gas bounty.  Likewise the tar sand industry.  Likewise, until renewable hydrogen is available, the "Hydrogen economy" and the fuel cell industry.  In other words, we are spending the natural gas reserves of North America multiple times, over and above the already rising consumption in electric power production, industrial use, and even ideas to grow it's use in transportation.  But Senator Obama seems to go with the assumption that everyone else does, that there MUST be the gas available for these projects, OR, he is not aware of the predicted crisis by the NPC and other energy experts...(?).

So, let's assume we somehow make Senator Obama aware.  What then?

Remember that the Democratic party is seen far and wide as much more "green" that is to say, environmentally friendly than the Republicans.  Could Obama admit the truth, and talk about what would be needed to assure the natural gas for even half of these upcoming "green projects", that is:

# Somehow renounce the low sulfur Diesel idea (referred to in the post by 12231989 I am replying to) as too draining on natural gas supply to continue?
#  Admit that ethanol was NOT an alternative fuel, and was in fact a non-renewable fossil fuel based on it's absolute (for the foreseeable future) reliance on cheap natural gas (testified to by the corn growers themselves before Congress in Washington)?
#  Admit that tar sand oil was likewise natural gas addicted?
#  Discuss the need for immediate opening of the OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) to assist in the supply of natural gas in America?  (This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT:  The NPC report, which predicted a supply/price crisis in natural gas BEGAN WITH THE ASSUMPTION that the OCS would be opened by 2006, and STILL foresaw a crisis.  The OCS was not perceived as a "silver bullet" but instead as ABSOLUTELY FUNDAMENTAL  to the U.S. having even a hope of matching supply and demand of natural gas in the North American market.

Lastly, and this one is BIG:  Discuss why the Iranian situation cannot be walked away from, and will almost assuredly have to be dealt with in a forceful way.  At this time, the U.S. has only one assured large supplier online for LNG, our staunchest ally in the Persian Gulf:  Qatar.  A nation ruled by a Westernized Emir, with a socially progressive wife, and a population smaller than Atlanta, it sits on the third largest known reserves of natural gas in the world (behind Russia and Iran).  The potential wealth here is STAGGERING.  Acting as the base of operations for CentCom, the occupational force that secures Iraq, is it now home to the greatest concentration of firepower in the world in such a small area, the most modern and massive force the American empire can bring to bear.  All within binocular viewing distance of the Iranian coast, and within barely a days drive of the oil reserves of Iraq, Kuwait, and the Saudi giant field of Ghawar.

 In the first post I ever wrote for TOD, I referred to it as "the small end of the funnel, in which American power is forced down a smaller and smaller tube, where the fate of the modern world will be decided."  I have had no reason to change my mind since then.  

Will potential Democratic presidential hopeful Obama be the one to tell his party that we must throw open the coast to drilling, and hold fast to the occupation of the Persian Gulf and deal with Iran in the strongest way, (can we perceive this much wealth and power, now so pivotal to our existence, sitting within spitting distance of an Iranian nuclear force, whether we be Liberal or Conservative, Socialist or anarchist...does politics really matter at this point, with the loaded gun swinging around to point at our head?  Has there ever been a nation, a culture who could bring themselves to surrender before such a threat?  Can Senator Obama, anymore than any other political survivor, talk the truth?

Or is he taking the wise path, as Franklin Roosevelt did in the 1930's, and focusing on the homefront (ethanol, the "home grown alternative" in the myth of American energy policy) and leaving the complexities of overseas lands and hard choices for a later day?

Roger Conner known to you as ThatsItImout

can we perceive this much wealth and power, now so pivotal to our existence, sitting within spitting distance of an Iranian nuclear force

Why not?  The assumption that we, the self-designated mature good guys, are entitled to all the nuclear weapons we want, while others are not, is pure naked imperialism.  The Iranians have not invaded anybody in a very long time.  Besides, there is no proof they're developing nuclear weapons (as distinct from nuclear power).  Finally, if you want to most endanger all that "wealth and power", go ahead and attack Iran...

I agree with your opinion except for one point. Keep your binoculars in their case. Closest point between Qatar and Iran is 130 miles. If you stood on the shore of Qatar and looked at the horizon everything below 9000 ft on the Irainian shore would be below the horizon.


Hey, maybe I have those reeeeally god German binos from the old days! :-)

Ya' got to give me some room for poetic hyperbole....130 miles is still kinda' close by modern standards..:-)

Roger Conner known to you as ThatsItImout

Obama was given 60 seconds to cover roughly 5 talking points for a sound bite.  The response you demand in the time allotted is ridiculous.

"#  Admit that ethanol was NOT an alternative fuel, and was in fact a non-renewable fossil fuel" - we'll throw that comment into the EtOH echo chamber.

"... of an Iranian nuclear force" - news to me if not the entire world.  Please feel free to cite the source for this statement.

I thought the Obama clip was very impressive. His synopsis of the problems of US auto manufacterers, global warming and involvement in the Middle East were clear, accurate and what people need to hear. He mentioned ethanol is passing as an example of the types of aolutions we need, but hardly beat the drum on it. He didn;t even say it would be US ethanol or produced from corn. Well done!
He also relayed a lot of info in a very short span of time.  Kudos to a politician that speaks concisely.
I particularly thought the tying of retiree health care assistance by the government to increased fuel economy to be interesting.  Somehow, the US automakers have to come up with a way to make a profit selling mostly small 40+ mpg autos.  That idea could definitely help.

Of course the best thing they could do would be to implement universal, government paid health care.

Does anyone know the sort of heating oil tank size that a typical house would need for the NE USA? I was wondering if home owners would start to either fill or top it up now, given that heating oil is reasonably cheap and there appears to be plenty of stock. As weather forecasters are predicting a cold patch hitting the US over the weekend, I would expect that would give home owners a wake up that winter is approaching and heating oil is probably as cheap as it is going to get.

Given that distillates fell 4.5 million barrels last week and refineries are still in maintenance mode, I wonder if it will fall by a similar amount next week. Does anyone know how much longer the tradional refinery maintenance period will last?

Hey love the idea of a 'late night drum beat'. Not all of us live in the US, and by the time we wake to see the previous drumbeat its a day behind!
I reckon it should be a regular feature.
Hey Essex;
  I'm in Portland Maine, using Oil Heat.  My house has a 230 gallon tank downstairs, serving 3 apartments for space heat (forced hot water) and domestic hot water.  We're on a plan through a consortium of landlords which prebuys a batch from a local tankfarm  (Local Farming!).. otherwise, I'd be filling up and getting a second tank this morning!


Distillate draw last week was higher than any week since Christmas week of 05. Must be farmers and home owners stocking up for the winter and next crop season.
Hi Essex,

I'm a New Englander and we heat with propane.  The problem that we have -- and oil burners may have the same problem -- is that the town limits the size of my propane tank to 500 gallons (US).  Leaving approx. 20% of the tank for expansion, this means that we inevitably have to get a second delivery sometime in February (when we still have 6 weeks of winter weather left).

We try to fill the tank in the summer when propane prices are at their lowest, but, with our current setup, buying on the cheap is not always an option.

And for oil users the standard tank is only 275 gallons, and has to be indoors (or the oil gets too viscous in the coldest winter weather - can use kerosene in an outdoor tank).  One can install a second tank if there's enough room in the basement, but most don't.
Most homes in the NE have 250 gal. fuel oil tanks in their homes.   I have a 1000gal tank in the ground  and buy in the summer to save on the price.   I use a Outdoor wood boiler to heat my home and oil as back up.   Most people in upstate NY where I live buy on the budget plan from a fuel oil supplier.  The supplier comes and fills up the tank automatically when needed.   Most suppliers lock in a price in the fall and you pay over a 12 month period.   Budget this year is 2.59 gal. and today's price is $ 2.499 for 250 gal. and 2.399 for 500 gal. delivered.  
Priest, how do you like your outdoor wood burning furnace?  I've been contemplating buying one to reduce our propane consumption but have read mixed reviews.  Some complain that they smoke a lot (not a problem for us as our nearest neighbor is half-mile away); others, that they don't have a long life (corrosion problems, mostly).  

Also, did you install it yourself?  Ideally, I would like to tie into our existing propane-fired heat/domestic hot water system, but, having limited plumbing skills, would have to have the work done by someone else.  In your experience, do those who sell these things have the expertise to tie into a fuel burning system or did you have to contract that out?  Those who sell them in our neck of the woods seem to do so as a sideline (which concerns me).

Any information or insight you can offer would be appreciated.

Polluting and inefficient.
Thanks, Bob and peacenik.  I've heard a fair amount of criticism of these things -- probably the biggest reason why I haven't pursued this.  The only reason for considering one at all, is that I have the wood.
No argument here about the inefficient or pollution of OWB.   The OWB smokes a lot only on restocking the firebox and fire up.   The furnace smolders most of the time (very little smoke) until it fires up to bring water temp back up to180 degrees, takes about a hour from 160 degrees.   My boiler holds 600 gallons, I heat 3000 sq ft home and burn about 15 to 22 cord wood.    Depends how cold the winter is.    I tied into my oil furnace and did all the work myself.  

 Negatives: smoke, restocking furnace twice a day, cutting wood and polluting the air.  Positives:  I get all the wood from my land, do not depend on oil for heat, save at least
 $2500 a year( I heat my hot water also).    I can heat my home regardless of the price oil.   Not the best solution for heat, but it works for me.  

Many thanks for all your replies. I had a quick look on UK tank sizes and they can go up to 10,000 litres. I am surprised that UK tank sizes seem to be bigger, although I suspect they are more likely to be 1,000 litres in size (I'd better quote litres rather than gallons as a US gallon is 3.6 litres whilst a UK gallon is 4.5 litres). I would have thought that you would spec a tank to get a family through a cold winter + a little longer, but if your health and safety are anything like over here, I can see the reason why they are that size.

In England I am sure they would set the price at the most expensive time of year, whilst yours seem to be set at a fair time. I know of a few people out in the sticks who use heating oil, but I haven't seen them for a while so I don't know how much they are complaining about prices.

The tank size in almost all houses built after about 1990 is 275 gallons. Most of my freinds are getting their first fills of the season right now. The price is down from around $2.40 a gallon to $2.10. Usually right now it's going in the other direction.
330 gallons .. tank in the basement ..
Last fill up was for $2.79/gallon ..
Whatcha calling cheap ???

Triff ..