While reading Paul Roberts’s The End of Oil,  I had an epiphany.  Do you know the difference between big oil companies  and crackheads?  The oil companies get invited to career day:

“The larger impact of the merger mania was to create a new breed of oil company that simply needed more oil to survive.  Today, these ‘supermajors’ – ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, TotalFinaElf of France, and BP (which swallowed up both Amoco and Arco) – are so outsized that the task of maintaining their reserves – that is, of replacing every barrel sold with a freshly discovered barrel – has become an epic struggle.  Not only must these companies discover lots of oil each year, but because they are so large, with such high operating costs, each discovery must be huge in order to be profitable.  Exploration and production costs are now so high, for instance, that no large company can afford to search out and drill a great many smaller fields.  Instead, they need the efficiencies and economies of scale of a single massive score – a billion barrels or more – to operate profitably.”