Just for curiosity I did a calculation of what the price of crude oil translates to in cents /KWh ... (the pricing unit for grid electricity).
1 liter of oil contains about 10 KWh of energy or about 36 MJ.
One barrel cointains roughly 159 liters.
So one barrel of oil priced at say 60 dollars provides 1 590 KWh.
60 dollars / 1 590 KWh gives you about 0, 0377 dollars/KWh or
3,77 cents per KWh.
From the graph on this page I noticed that a couple of years ago the industrial sector (orange line) in USA used to pay as low as 4 cents/KWh, and at a time the price slumped below 4 cents/KWh.
http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/brochure/el ... icity.html
I don't know current electricity prices in the US (I'm from Norway). But one thing that strikes me is that modern wind-power seems to be almost as cheep as crude oil per KWh at current prices. In norway you can produce windpower at the price of 4,7 cents/KWh without subsedies (its a windy place).
Oil at 80 dollars a barrel will give you about 5 cents/KWh
I know that oil has some uniqe qualities as an energy carrier, but so do electricity. For mechanical devices electricity is far more efficient than combustion engines. This means that you get a lot more work done with one KWh of electricity compared to one KWh worth of crude oil. The only shortcomming of electricity is the difficulty of putting a lot of it on an unconnected motorized unit like a car.