17 January 2012

Buy Snickers get Free Gas

Saudi has a lot of oil. A lotttt of oil. Tons. To put a figure, approximately 270 billion barrels, give or take a few billion. A fifth of the World's proven reserves. Do you have any idea how much that is?

Let's try to put things in perspective. If you were to live to 100, that means you're living a total of 36,500 days, or a total of 876,000 hours. At today's crude oil price, a barrel is somewhere in the range of just over $100, so (assuming nothing changes) if Saudi pumped 300,000 barrels ($30 million worth) for every hour you live, they'd still have enough left over to make another trillion dollars after you died.

That's a lot of oil.

Now, with that type of income potential, the Saudis can do practically anything they want. So what do they do? They give some away free with every bar of Snickers.


Yup. This shot of a Snickers ad was taken by @FahadKD on Twitter, who is, funnily enough, a corporate advisor in the Energy sector. It's a new, actual campaign in Saudi, where you get one litre of gas for every Snickers bar you buy.

The campaign has already been launched, and it's all over Saudi at the moment, but it does raise a number of questions. Okay, we understand oil is subsidized in Saudi; in fact, it's one of the cheapest places in the world to buy gas at the pump, where filling the average car up rarely passes the 50 riyal mark ($14). However, how justified is it that a corporation can use subsidized gas in it's campaign to sell of a candy bar? Are we just throwing our gas away? Sure, 270 billion barrels isn't going to finish overnight, but that doesn't justify just giving it away, or does it? Do we just have so much oil that we don't know what to do with it?

Whatever the thinking behind it, we'll see what the local papers have to say about this over the next few days. For now, i'm going to grab a Snickers.


Anonymous said...

okay those guys have waaay too much oil. It costs me $80 to fill up my car in the US and I have a tiny honda!

Hussain Mahmood said...

Your theory is flawed. Snickers is buying that liter for the market rate (60 fils? In Bahrain currency) and giving it to the Snickers buyer who bought the bar for 200 fils or 250 fils. It's not like they're buying the petrol and reselling it outside.

Charles L. said...

It's not a matter of the costing of oil as much as it is the concept of giving it away for next to nothing. Saudi, and the Arab world in general need to get away from the dependency on oil, and move to other sources of energy. That attitude displays to a person that oil is a cheap natural resource, and is easy to use and replace.