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Farming Comparison

To help put the oil and gas industry in perspective, here is a comparison of Michigan's Corn Farmer to Michigan's Energy Farmer.

Corn Farmer

Energy Farmer

Harvests at the surface of the earth. Harvests below the surface of the
earth.
Accepts the risk of weather
and rot.
Accepts the risk of dry holes and marginal producing wells.
Depletes his corn crop at harvest in a few months,
then replants.
Depletes his oil or gas field reservoirs in a few years. He must replace the depleted reservoir by drilling high risk wells in order to explore for a new reservoirs.
Cannot control his corn commodity price which is set at NYMEX or another exchange. Cannot control his oil/gas commodity price which is determined by the NYMEX or another exchange.

He cannot control the law of supply and demand.

He cannot control the law of
supply and demand.

He cannot control the consumer demand for corn. He cannot control consumer demand for oil/gas.
He is likely to be among the vast majority of corn farmers who are relatively small in size but together plant and harvest most of the domestic corn production in the USA.

He is likely to be among the vast majority of independant oil/gas energy producers who are relatively small in size but together drill most of the reservoir discovery wells onshore in the lower 48 states of the USA.