The Value of Oil

Pouring motor oil into an engine

Yesterday I had to put some motor oil in the car.

As I was pouring the oil from the bottle into the engine, I started thinking about how the price of crude oil has dropped so dramatically in the past 12 months. As I watched the flow of oil from the bottle dwindle from a stream, to a dribble, to a drip, drip, drip, I began wondering about the cost of each little teardrop of oil.

That thought took me back to grade school math problems:

Timmy has 32 drops of motor oil. Martha has twice as many drops as Sam, but only 3/5 as many as Timmy. If the price of crude oil dropped to $55 a barrel, what is the cost of all of Martha’s drops of oil?

Answers via comments below.


  1. There are approximately 91,000 drops of fluid in a gallon. There are 42 gallons per barrel of crude oil. That’s approximately 3,822,000 drops. At $55 per barrel, each drop would cost 0.07 cents wholesale Assuming that Martha has crude oil, she would have approximately 1.5 cents worth wholesale.

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