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Bloody Oil

June 29, 2008

The lady in tank tops and jeans was muttering something, looking at the flight departure schedule. Cursing the long wait for her delayed flight? Possibly.
She edged past in the waxing and waning crowd of fliers to the Kingfisher counter. Hmm.
Nice looking,svelte, aged say 24 and definitely hot. Wait a minute, did I see her, go to Chn-Delhi Kingfisher flight?

I like that.
I like that coincidence ๐Ÿ™‚
Pushing my trolley past newly weds, sauntering kids, I stood on the next counter.
“Hey Lina, how are you doing?”. Advantages of flying twice a week for extended periods of time
“Hi Mr.Das, doing good. So Delhi this time?” Small talk. Do Kingfisher pay them for this too?
The girl in jeans looked up for a moment and then went back to strapping the tag to her handbag.

By the time we finished, there was a queue behind us, hustling as if, there is one last boarding pass left to freedom.

“Fares are rising, the crowds doesn’t seem to travel any less though”, I said, edging past the crowd and the make believe queue.Not quite talking to her, but yes talking to her.
“Yeah, the oil prices are a scandal”, she replied.

Blimey! She talks intelligent, got a great voice too.

“Yeah, what is it, $141? “

“$141.75…”, correcting me.”… So what do you think, any more of those cheap oil days?”

“Now thats an interesting question”. Honey sweetness and charming smile.
Get-the-girl-interested strategy #22, tried and tested by Jump!

“Its starts and ends with, how do you define cheap oil. Back to those days, of $6/barrel? Come on, we know how it works don’t we ? But back to sub-100 dollars oil? Umm… possible”

“What?, oil below $100?Impossible! I think you never listened to Mr. Sergovisky, did you? “, passionate and vocal. And she hears business…

“No… “, letting out a gentle ‘yeah-tell-me-what-you-have-got-to-tell’ smile.
“… so what does he say?”

“That, oil is becoming costly stuff and its going to stay above 180 for quite some time and…”

“Yeah possible, very much possible…” cutting her in between.
“But then again, very few people know and can comprehensively guess, about oil. Sergovisky, Russian is he?”
We took a latte each from Baristas and motioned her for a seat.Smooth move, boy!

“Now… I really don’t know about Sergovisky, possibly because he is a Russian and…” dropping a defending smile and raising my open palms, “…I refuse to really trust him, Russians are the ones loving costly oil” ๐Ÿ™‚

Wow, favourable body posture. The wait and the flight can turn out to be an interesting one, buddy

“Now… hey, the Latte is good.”, her attention snapped out for a split second,and she took a sip.

“Yeah perfect…, so what were you telling about oil?”

I winked at her, and one of those infectious smiles “Get-the-girl #47” smiles… ๐Ÿ™‚
“Okay, let me ask you something… what would you like to see oil prices at?”


“Circa around $30? “,she said with a quick mischievous tone.


“Too optimistic, not possible…”, I added trying to match jab for jab in this war of wits and words.

“…The main problem with oil is nobody really knows what or how or even when about it. Back in 50s, one particular bloke called Hubbart said, ‘Hey Guys, US is gonna hit a brick wall on oil production in 1970s.’ Nobody actually listened to him. Well…they sorta repented about it… Late 70s oil fields dried up and something called Hubbart’s Peak came in the general lexicon”

” Hmm.. interesting. So if really people don’t know about it, then how come they are talking”

“Bingo! I think you got the point. There is a lot of noise out there. A few guys are actually doing some good. Seems like Goldman Sachs Arjun Murthy is one of the few good men. But the fact of the matter is present oil prices are too high, too fast. It would fall, but how and when, thats difficult to say. Arjun Murthy predicts by 2011, it should come back to sub-100 levels. Only to settle back at $60 levels.”

“But thats too long, for things to smoothen out. And I really can’t expect me to be flying anymore of it keeps on going like this”

“Let me tell you something, neither can I”, giving one of those off the cuff, boyish smiles. Typically reserved for girls.

“Now back to the old thing. I can see something really interesting happening actually. Oil can get sufficiently cheaper. There used to be a process, long time back, which was used to convert coal into petroleum. Sort of costly in those days though. Around 24USD per barrel. ” A hidden smile. A twinkle in her eyes.Don’t you really think, we can see some cheap oil due to this?”

“Hey, thats cheap!”

“Exactly, so what do you think about a spike in production”, I winked at her, and she got the point.
“But definitely its going to take time. Do you know, who are going to profit the most?”

“Umm.. those who do have some reserves of coal, I guess”.
“Precisely, and India does have some of them. Australia too”
“So what do you think?”

She was thinking, thinking hard.
“So, you are a business consultant or something like that?”, I asked her, trying to change the thought stream.
“Well, you might like to have this”, and she handed me her business card. It read,

Rita Oberoi
Business Analyst,J P Morgan

Interesting, indeed interesting! I like women who talk sense. Especially those whose name start with R.

She was still thinking, and I looked at the ‘perfect-happy-family’ model sitting at the lounge,beside us and waiting for their flights to arrive. The Sardar kid running around with his undamped jester and the baby on the missus’ arms sleeping like a soul. Inspite of all quirks, I love Indians. [And that was gender inspecific statement]

She was thinking. That I am sure.

“What do you think of shale oil?”, she asked me. Surely she knows something about it.
“Possible, to get factored into this equation”, nonchalant answer. I was really busy looking at the kid sleeping peacefully.
Silence.
We sipped on our lattes for sometime.I finished it soon thereafter. She too, looked at where I was looking at, but perhaps decided best to leave me in my thoughts for sometime. She took my paper cup,crushed it and threw it in the bin.

“You know, as we speak, somewhere people are still busy mining oil and fueling the growth we are depending on. But amidst all this growth, sometimes I think, are we paying too much for it?”

Silence.

I expected her to tell something, but she chose to remain silent.

“You see that kid, over there? Sleeping peacefully, with least to worry about,probably dreaming about happy and beautiful angels, and lush green garden and sweet waters. I wonder though, if we can leave that kid there, such a world. Or are we going to sacrifice this earth in quest of un-satiated growth. I don’t think we are leaving this world any way better than what we got from our ancestors”
She nodded and seemed to understand. For a long time, there was a silence, amidst the din of the airport.
And when she spoke, she spoke with a smile in her voice and journey to look forward to.

“Its time, Lets go”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anon permalink
    July 3, 2008 12:13 pm

    Haaaaiiiiiii,

    Whats up with u ?? No posts for so long????? Still trying to impress Lina bro??

    Keep talking about stock markets and u would bore her soon.. Change topic , get close, get something done and post about it here..

  2. Soham Das permalink*
    July 3, 2008 12:41 pm

    Hey there…

    Yeah I am doing good… was trying to come up with something ๐Ÿ˜‰ [seems like it takes time too]

    Well, leave Lina, now its Rita’s turn.
    Get something done?
    Well, [with a twinkle in the eyes], as if I didn’t do it yet! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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