Hand-Crafted Gasolines

(See here.)

Imagine a journey that starts in the shade of a maple tree next to a dirt road in the rolling hills of rural Pennsylvania. Under the tree stands an oil well. This well is unusual; it is one that has been hand-pumped by members of the O’Sphere family for five generations.


4 thoughts on “Hand-Crafted Gasolines

  1. Wow. I knew there were small wells on family farms in parts of Ohio and elsewhere that had been continuously producing for decades, but it never occurred to me that the oil might actually be refined in small batches on the family farm, too.

    • This is just satire, not real.

      But it does arouse the question: why not? Why shouldn’t those farmers with oil on their property possess property rights all the way down to the Earth’s core, not just stupid plain ‘surface rights’, allowing big business to drill to its heart’s content underneath others’ land, despite sour gas emissions, etc.

      One Canadian has asked that, and I agree with the late bastard, despite his methods.

    • Ha ha oops, got me

      But in the United States, the property owners certainly do own the mineral rights under their land along with the surface rights, unless their ancestors sold off the mineral rights separately at some point (and even then, in some states, such as Ohio, there are provisions for reuniting the mineral rights with the surface owner, if the owners of the mineral rights don’t do anything for a couple of decades). At least in Ohio, the standard method for oil and gas companies to get the right to drill is to sign a lease with the surface owners, under which the surface owners get a percentage of the value of all the oil and gas produced (a “royalty”); the standard amount used to be 1/8 or 12.5%, nowadays it varies more (often between 12.5% and 20%).

      In the last decade or so (the current American energy revolution, shale-oil revolution, fracking boom, whatever you want to call it), this has led to the ironic result that many family farms that were formerly on the brink of insolvency get a windfall in oil and gas royalties by leasing to oil and gas companies, allowing them to drill deep under the surface, while leaving the farm up top largely undisturbed; suddenly rich, the umpteenth-generation farmers can finally do what they’ve always wanted to do—farm their old family farm! It’s a happy ending for a lot of farms that otherwise might finally have gone under, as discussed in the great little documentary Fracknation.


      God bless America!

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