I wrote an article about a similar pitch from the Oxford Club folks a couple years ago, back when it was not just the “death of electric cars” that was being promised, but a way to make gasoline “three times cheaper” without using oil.
But I figured that this new ad must be talking about something a little different, despite the similarities, so I thought I’d take a closer look for you. The pitch is from Sean Brodrick, who helms the Oxford Resource Explorer newsletter, and he says this “How to Make a Fortune on ‘The Next Exxon'” report will lead you straight to profits… in his words, “getting in now could soon hand you 53% in weeks… 165% in months… 633% in years… and more….”
Man, that “Next Exxon” bit sounds very similar to the promise he made back in the Summer of 2014, too –though back then it was “Early Investors Could Make 90.5%… 281.9%… And Even 1,063% in a Few Years….” Though that stock, which was recommended almost exactly at the recent peak in oil prices back in July, 2014, is now down about 46% from where it was then.
Am I sounding mysterious enough yet?
OK, here’s the opening of the spiel…
“Maybe once every century we see a technology breakthrough that completely transforms the world…
“And I believe we’re about to witness one of these rare events right now.
“It’s an event that could completely wipe out the electric car industry…
“And, at the same time, hand a clued-in group of investors gains of up to 633% in the coming 18 months.
“Not many understand the scale of what’s about to happen…
“But it’s going to begin with a little-known energy company working deep within the Louisiana Bayou.”
Other than that “electric cars” bit, that is sounding more and more familiar.
Here’s the “sum up” of Brodrick’s tease so we can jump ahead a bit:
“In my “How to Make a Fortune on ‘The Next Exxon’” report, you’ll discover…
- The name of this little-known company that creates real gasoline from natural gas… three times cheaper and 40% cleaner than the “oil to gasoline” method.
- How it could sell this gasoline for as little as $0.58 a gallon and still be profitable.
- How it’ll soon create enough gasoline to fuel 10.3 million American cars a year… and ramp up to 20 million and beyond…
- How its technology, 372 patents, 120 scientists and locked-in monopoly on the ‘natural gas to gasoline’ process will give it a competitive advantage for years to come…”
Seriously? Yes, it seems that Brodrick is still pitching this same “natural gas to gasoline” company, Sasol (SSL).
So yes, this remains one of the more egregiously misleading ads around — I thought it was bad enough that they were still sending out the ad unchanged last Fall, when I re-checked that “get real gasoline without oil for $0.58 a gallon” pitch, because the story had changed so dramatically in the year following that ad’s introduction… but now it’s even more ridiculous.
Unless, of course, oil takes off again and natural gas stays cheap, and Sasol re-starts their big but still conceptual “gas to liquids” project in Louisiana and it goes off without a hitch and is super-profitable in four or five years. Which might be possible, but isn’t in my “likely” category at the moment.
For those of you who don’t know the full story, I should backtrack a little here. Sasol is a big South African energy company, and they have probably worked more on fine-tuning and improving the Fischer–Tropsch process for creating synthetic liquid fuel from coal and natural gas than anyone else in the last 75 years — in a sense, that’s because Nazi Germany, which was the previous champion of Fischer-Tropsch, and Apartheid-era South Africa had some things in common aside from the obvious horrors: They had lots of coal; and no one wanted to sell them any oil.
The process itself is pretty well understood and has been used by lots of companies — it’s not patented (the basic process is 90 years old), though there are patents on some of the specific processes, improvements and equipment used by most of the major gas to liquids plants (including the world’s largest, which is run by Shell in Qatar using a proprietary reactor system that’s different from Sasol’s). Sasol’s uniqueness, apparently, is in their reactor design, which (this is oversimplifying, sorry) uses heat, pressure, and cobalt as a catal