This image represents the dollar cost to the general economy of refining a barrel of crude oil to gasoline. Look closely reader, because that is Death looking back at you.
(You may click images to enlarge) Essentially, this is the Cost of our Civilization, and it is on an exponential curvature; see pink line below:
You can chart geopolitics using this chart; a little volatility during Gulf War One, and subdued prices as Saudi was plundered during the nineties. Volatility returned in 2000 and then you witnessed 9/11 and all the wars which followed: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Yemen.
Looking below at the same chart in line form, at the 21 month exponential moving average (red line), the cost in 1988 was around 3 dollars, in the late 90’s 5, and the peak was around 29 dollars in 2013. Please note the volume and volatility during the Great Financial Crisis:
The next financial chart represents the energy cost of refining measured in crude oil. This chart also includes profit margins, waste and investments of companies involved in the refining stage. We may assume profit margins and such were severely compressed since the heart attack, providing us a clearer picture of energy costs since 2009.
The 21 month exponential moving average (red line, blue is 55) since the GFC appears to match what we’d expect from the Hills Group model, whereby the refining phase consumes .35 to .4 barrels of crude oil energy when producing a barrel of gasoline.
Thus, on a moving average, our financial systems suggest 1.35 to 1.4 barrels of crude oil energy is required to produce one barrel of gasoline. The energy cost of refining is in an ascending channel and monthly stochastics look bullish:
So analyzing the trend, this sector was performing in a stable fashion up to the GFC, where we can assume normal levels of waste, profit and investment; then we see a severe compression starting in 2007 and the bottom is in 2009. The drop was too deep—went as low as 7%—and the refining industry proceeded to suffer a wave of bankruptcies, especially in Europe when the largest refiner filed for bankruptcy. Volatility is becoming increasingly extreme because producers require higher crude prices; refiners require lower crude prices and higher gasoline prices while consumers need lower prices at the pump: All this while refining costs increase.
This is the image of Civilizational Collapse, it went negative in 2008: