View single post by Pete Moulds
 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2020 08:05 am
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Pete Moulds

Joined: Sat Feb 25th, 2006
Location: Bumi Serpong Damai, Jakarta, Indonesia
Levi, oil costs the same in Europe as everywhere else. Brent costs maybe a dollar a barrel more than WTI (West Texas Intermediate) because of quality issues.It is because we tax motor fuels heavily to make sure people don't waste them that it is more expensive.That's why we have smaller more efficient engines too.

On the subject of metrication, why would the measurement system used by the rest of the world make things more expensive?
Being born and brought up in the UK, my childhood was using Imperial Units and we were also dogged with the most ghastly monetary system which came straight from the Roman conquest. 1 pound consists of 20 shillings, each shilling consists of 12 pennies.
Can you imagine adding up a column of money the amounts written in pounds, shillings and pence?   The money was abbreviated to L.s.d. The 'L' is for Librium the source of the British monetary symbol £ and was originally 1lb of silver.The 'S' (literally splittings) and the smallest part of silver being Denarius.

Then we used a similarly ghastly system of length measurements 'miles, each into 8 furlongs, each into 40 rods/poles/perches, each into 51/2 yards, each into 3 foot, each into 12 inch and then  fractions thereof. For some weird reason we didn't use the obvious decimal system.

Two huge burdens were lifted, decimal currency was, after 130 years of effort, introduced in 1971 whilst we went metric officially in 1965 but in all honesty the process of conversion is still ongoing somewhat. We still have road signs in miles per hour and petrol/gasoline was much slower to convert to measuring in litres but has happened now. Kilograms for food shopping were initially resisted too but the conversion is now pretty complete.
However we quickly dropped the ghastly non-system of measurements of length and went to metres with a sigh of relief where all subdivisions were made in the decimal system.
We also, with relief, largely dropped the bizarre mess of screw sizes though this took longer. Vintage British cars still require a set of standard SAE wrenches but these are harder to find nowadays.

So I started working full time in 1969 and quickly went metric in the international oil companies I worked for but was shocked on moving in the US in 1978, to find the situation was reversed. You guys are in a time warp and to all intents and purposes a lone stand-out clinging to non-metric measurements.

You, Burma (Myanmar) and Liberia.
It gets worse guys.
Wikipedia,"Some sources now identify Liberia as metric, and the government of Myanmar has stated that the country would metricate with a goal of completion by 2019. Both Myanmar and Liberia are substantially metric countries, trading internationally in metric units."
The beauty of the metric system is firstly its simplicity and it's less error-prone and secondly the inter-relationship of the units. I litre of water, for example, weighs exactly I kilogram.
The oil industry has been forced to adopt a hybrid system such as running 9 5/8" casing to a depth of 1,234.56 metres. This merely because the API (American Petroleum Institute) sets standard casing sizes.
Errors in these measurement conversions can get expensive.
Wikipedia again,
"Mars Probe Lost Due to Simple Math Error. NASA lost its $125-million Mars Climate Orbiter because spacecraft engineers failed to convert from English to metric measurements when exchanging vital data before the craft was launched, space agency officials said Thursday. ... In a sense, the spacecraft was lost in translation.1 Oct 1999".
Now, don't get me wrong, I love working on old British made fans, Veritys in particular, and I get nostalgic for the old systems but I do recognise that we need to standardise a world system of measurements for efficiency. In the old days things were not standardised. In the UK we had 20 fluid ounces in a pint whilst you guys, probably more logically, said there were 16 fluid ounces in your pint, akin to the 16 ounces in a pound; although they bear no direct relationship unlike litres do to kilos. Thus the Imperial Gallon we used to buy 'petrol' in, was a 20% larger volume than a US Gallon.
And finally your retention of fractions of an inch in measurements. SAE wrench sizes ascending in 1/16" such as
1/4, 5/16, 11/32, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, 5/8, 11/16, 3/4, 13/16, 7/8, 15/16, 1" is learnable but difficult and prone to error and adding fractions more complicated than adding millimetres or even decimals thereof.
By not going  metric and acting globally in this matter, the US is complicating their international operations. The oil industry is forced into a hybrid system as is international aviation operation and I am sure there are many other such examples.
No doubt I will endure a burst of indignant riposte for this message. I have to say that I am not at all anti-American, two of my children are US born citizens and I have lived there happily for many years. I have also been lucky enough to live around the world and now semi-retired at 75 and living happily in a country I enjoy. However, the more I experience the more I find it difficult to understand this stubborn resistance to standardise your measurement system with everybody else's.

Last edited on Fri Jul 31st, 2020 08:09 am by Pete Moulds