Much is being said and written about how the increased price of oil to over $140 per barrel is injuring our economy. Moreover, the prediction of $200 per barrel by the year end is being heralded as the “Tripping Pont” by many pundits—an unthinkable change in the landscape of western civilization.

My response to these pundits is they may be overlooking the many new opportunities that high priced oil products will bring. Let’s examine some of the marketing opportunities that might be created by $200 per Barrel Oil:

1. Real estate prices will favor the urban areas. A tremendous buying opportunity may be at our feet with prices currently at record lows in metropolitan areas. The up-coming real estate rally will be fueled by high oil prices. Bye-bye suburbs and the rural lifestyles,

2. Telecommuting will finally deliver the promises of value. This includes video conferencing, webinars, and work at home situations.

3. A rush to create “4-day work weeks” will help commuters save money. This will create more recreation time for consumers. Note the State of Utah is trying a one-year 4-day work pilot program to save energy and money; this pilot will affect the majority of Utah state employees.

4. Local tourism should increase . Families will opt to stay at home for vacations and take advantage of local recreation such beaches, museums, and theme parks. Road trips and plane flights will be just too expensive. I have heard these referred to as “Staycations”.

5. Regional oil exploration and drilling will boom. The Feds will create new incentives for exploration for local sources of oil.

6. Oil extraction economics will change. Older oil wells once considered “tapped” when the bottom of the wells turned from liquid to sludge, may now be reopened.

7. Fuel efficient cars seem an obvious solution. The SUV may be dead, but the economy car may have just been named homecoming queen.

8. Alternatives to fossil fuel may get additional tax preferences. Solar, wind energy, and gasoline alternatives will get a boost from the Feds and from the consumer.

$200 per barrel oil will create many new entrepreneurial opportunities—-let’s look at the bright side.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.

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  1. Think about how oil is used besides fuel; it helps make plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, rubber, literally everything down to the ink in your pen (most ink dye is made from petrochemicals). When gas (or crude oil more specifically) prices go up, it becomes more expensive to make things, transport things, and therefore buy things. I think you will find in 20 years people will laugh we refined oil to burn in cars. The Plug-In Hybrid and more nuclear power plants are the only thing that will save us, I called it here first 🙂

  2. Tisa Aley

    John… This is a great way to look at this… attitude is everything. I especially liked the “telecommuting” plug…. I love telecommuting and wish everyone could join in. Have a great day.. Tisa

  3. Yes….being a work at home type, I really believe in it.

    I wasted 1000s of hours commuting to an office over many years.

    Going to the office is so last century.


  4. Andrew,

    The Plug-In Hybrid and more nuclear power plants should have been done decades ago….yet, I think change requires a pain first.

    I think things are getting painful today.


  5. Liz Levy

    You left out at least one other benefit — people will finally realize that filling up their cars for $90 to drive to work alone, shuttling 3 or 4 empty seats to and from their workplaces, is absurd. Sharing rides with one person cuts an individual’s gas cost to $2.25 (at today’s prices), and filling up all the empty seats cuts it to around a buck a gallon per person. With fewer cars on the road, pollution and congestion diminishes, and commuters will actually be able to drive at the posted speed — what a concept!

  6. Liz,

    Well said.


  7. How about this?

    Higher Gas Prices = Less Driving = Fewer Accidents and Less Pollution

    Basically, if the gas price increases 20%, the number of car fatalities should decrease by about 2,000 each year. (Note: This number doesn’t take in to account fewer injuries and disabilities too.) A 20% increase in gas prices would also reduce the number of people dying from air pollution by about 600.

    High Gas Prices and Driving Habits

    Researchers from the University of California, Davis, figured out these numbers by using data from the last time gas prices surged (the 1970s and 1980s). Based on the changes in driving habits, they did the math and came up with 2,600 for the amount of lives saved by a 20% increase in gas prices. The real health benefit could be far greater with fewer car accidents overall (and fewer injuries), better air quality and people walking instead of driving. Maybe there is a silver lining to the gas price increase after all.


    Leigh, J Paul PhD; Geraghty, Estella M. MD, MS, MPH. High Gasoline Prices and Mortality From Motor Vehicle Crashes and Air Pollution. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 50(3):249-254, March 2008.

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