Science: Unit of Measurement
New measurement unit for oil   (+3, -3)  [vote for, against]
Why use barrels?

It seems to me that oil is measured in nothing but barrels, resulting in some ludicrous numbers. And who ever buys a single barrel of oil? Oil should be measured by the tanker.
-- simonj, Jun 26 2008

Foxtrot cartoon http://www.gocomics...foxtrot/2008/06/22/
Involves measurement of petrol [ed, Jun 27 2008]

Yeah, just bought a tanker of oil yesterday. The guy insisted on counting out the barrels, crazy.
-- zeno, Jun 27 2008

I usually buy oil by the quart.
-- phoenix, Jun 27 2008

Our oil has been sold by the litre since the 1970s.
-- Canuck, Jun 27 2008

Well, a standard barrel of oil (42 US gallons) has about the same capacity as a normal bathtub, so why don't we just measure oil in bathfuls? (see links)
-- hippo, Jun 27 2008

Surely the tabloid unit of volume is the Olympic-sized swimming pool.
-- coprocephalous, Jun 27 2008

...and a 42-gallon barrel of oil is 159 litres, whereas an Olympic-sized swimming pool is 2.5m litres, or 15,723 barrels of oil, costing \$2.2m at today's price.
-- hippo, Jun 27 2008

It seems to me that oil is measured using any appropriate measure you care to mention, resulting in numbers that suit the measurer/situation, simonj.
-- Murdoch, Jun 27 2008

I propose that the base new unit of oil be called "The Penguin". There would be 64 Penguins to one Polar Bear and 512 Bears to one Blue Whale.
-- xenzag, Jun 27 2008

Bun to [xenzag], measure oil in damage to the ecosystem.
-- 4whom, Jun 27 2008

Why not use the man-hour equivalent? I've heard that 4 litres of petrol are equivalent to 23,000 man-hours of labour.

That certainly takes the sting out of \$4/gallon, now doesn't it??? [+]
-- r_kreher, Jun 27 2008

[Murdoch] when have you ever heard of oil being measured by anything but a barrel? Certainly all the financial markets refer to barrels, I would be curious to learn what other units are specifically used for oil.
-- simonj, Jul 01 2008

Are you serious, simonj? Why does it have to be a measure specific to oil?
-- Murdoch, Jul 03 2008

Barrels are used, because the end user is often bent over one.
-- 4whom, Jul 03 2008

[Ian]: The US. Here in the UK we pay about \$10 a gallon, they complain about paying less than half what we do!
-- Germanicus, Jul 03 2008

I'd aways thought the barrel was 55 gallons, but now I discover it's only 42. I suppose that's the answer to everything, isn't it?
-- ldischler, Jul 03 2008

random, halfbakery