Publications: The Petroleum Economics Monthly

Let the Customer Be Damned (March 2013)


In 2011, IBM published a four-page advertisement celebrating its centennial. The text began this way: "Nearly all the companies our grandparents admired have disappeared." A recent report published by Citi, Energy 2020: Independence Day, makes it clear that many in the petroleum industry have learned none of the lessons that have made IBM great. As a result, a large percentage of firms now in the oil business may join the list of the "disappeared" by 2025.


This issue of The Petroleum Economics Monthly focuses primarily on the oil industry's predominant "customer be damned" view toward petroleum product buyers. Like the computer company Dell, much of the petroleum business assumes consumers will continue to buy what is offered rather than seek alternatives. This arrogance will prove expensive for oil, just as it proved costly to owners of Dell stock.


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