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Record Oil Profit$ 4 Exxon Mobil, Shell

Better cowboy up ya'll! Yee Haw!!! Vote for Bush bin Ladin! 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years! These oil guys are going to have one HELL of a party at the Republican National Convention!
DALLAS _ Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, posted record profits of $5.79 billion Thursday, and the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos. saw its earnings rise 54 percent, thanks to higher prices for oil and natural gas.

The sterling earnings reports, which came on top of strong results from BP and ConocoPhillips, may be small comfort to motorists paying about $2 for a gallon of regular unleaded _ unless they also happen to be shareholders.

Exxon Mobil, for instance, earned a profit of more than $10 on each barrel of oil it produced, said Pat Mulva, the company's director of investor relations.

Mark Baxter, director of an energy institute at Southern Methodist University, said pump prices should be even higher, given that crude is hovering near $43 a barrel.

"These profits probably appear gross, and consumers wonder why they're not lowering the prices," Baxter said. "They could do that, but the first time they did, the CEO would get fired."

Baxter said oil companies need to make profits while the getting is good to carry them through times of low prices _ oil was $10 a barrel a few years ago _ and to take risks to explore around the world.

Exxon Mobil chairman and chief executive Lee R. Raymond said recently that Exxon Mobil earns no more than 5 cents per gallon for refining and selling gasoline _ although he didn't include profit from producing crude oil.

Analysts cite several reasons for high oil prices, notably that OPEC is producing at near capacity, demand continues to grow in the United States, China and other large markets, and fear that events in the Middle East or Russia could curtail supplies and lead to shortages.

Oil prices surged to a record level this week _ briefly above $43 a barrel for U.S. light crude _ on new violence in Iraq and reports that Russian oil giant Yukos might be forced to suspend sales, although its production was not interrupted. Both developments were seen as possibly disrupting production in an already tight world market.

Analysts said that oil companies aren't charities, but some faulted the industry for not spending more on finding new sources of oil to meet rising demand.

"Forty-dollar crude is a big gift to the exploration and production sector," said George Gaspar, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co. "They ought to be putting it into the ground, both in the U.S. and overseas. Mr. Consumer is going to be paying $3 and $4 a gallon in 10 years unless something is done to increase oil reserves."

Exxon Mobil Corp.

Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil earned $5.79 billion, or 88 cents per share, in the April-June period, compared with $4.17 billion, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier. That matched the forecast of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

Revenue jumped 24 percent to $70.69 billion from $57.17 billion, although oil and gas production rose only 1.4 percent.

"They are clicking on all cylinders," said Fadel Gheit, an analyst for Oppenheimer & Co. "Refining (profit) margins are the best in almost 15 years, oil prices are at record highs, and gas prices are near records. It doesn't get any better than this."

Profits rose in all three main areas of Exxon Mobil's business _ production, up 36 percent; refining and selling, up about 31 percent to the highest mark in 13 years; and chemicals, up 38 percent to its highest level since 1995.

The company said it would increase the pace of buying back its own shares by about $1 billion over the $1.95 billion it spent in the second quarter.

For the first six months of the year, Exxon Mobil earned $11.23 billion, or $1.71 per share, compared to $11.21 billion, or $1.67 per share, in the same period last year. Revenue rose to $138.30 billion from $120.95 billion.

Shares of Exxon Mobil rose 22 cents to close at $46.03 _ near their 52-week high of $46.82 set this month _ on the New York Stock Exchange.

Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos.

The Anglo-Dutch company earned $4.0 billion, compared with $2.6 billion in the same period a year earlier.

After stripping out the fluctuating value of Shell's oil and gas inventories, the company said its adjusted earnings would have been $3.77 billion, a 16 percent increase from a year earlier.

Sales rose to $62.5 billion from $58.1 billion.

Shell also announced it would pay a $120 million civil penalty to settle an inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into the downgrading of the company's reserves.

The company said it agreed to pay a $31 million fine to resolve an inquiry by Britain's Financial Services Authority into the issue and will spend $5 million to improve internal controls. The company still faces shareholder lawsuits.

Shell stunned shareholders in January when it downgraded 20 percent of its reserves from "proven" to less certain categories. Three other smaller downgrades followed, and the series of moves lowered reserves by 23 percent.

Reserves are a closely watched indicator of an oil company's future production, and investors can be alarmed by any reduction.

U.S.-traded shares in Shell Transport & Trading Co. PLC, the London-based parent that owns 40 percent of the group, rose 97 cents to close at $44.11 on the NYSE. Shares in Royal Dutch Petroleum of the Netherlands, which holds the other 60 percent of the group, gained 85 cents to $50.99.


On the Net:

Exxon Mobil:  http://www.exxonmobil.com

Shell:  http://www.shell.com
It all makes sense 30.Jul.2004 04:25


That's why we pay more than $2 a gallon, so the companies can profit in excess of 5.79 billion dollars, how great. What exactly are you going to do with all that money. Tell me why we are paying more for gas, when all I see is profits getting larger, and the corporate media telling us how it is more and more necessary. I don't know about you, but somewhere after making a billion dollars, I'd probably decrease gas prices, how nice of them to try to make EVEN MORE money off of us. Anyone that supports bush, better be making more than $300 million dollars a year cause otherwise your not going to see any benefit from supporting him, even though I still see these middle class clowns supporting him like he's some savior to our society, if you didnt realize yet. Bush uses terrorists to excuse the lame job he does as president, and excuses even more why he can't do things, not too mention giving the go on a war in Iraq. Not enough realize, nor can they see because the media hides bad for Bush news, no one seems to notice that Pre 9-11, Bush wasnt even doing anything, the biggest thing he has done for America is have a war. America doesnt want a war, however through our patriotism, we will support a war if our executive deems it necessary. This is the silliest president we have EVER had in office, we catch these Leaders in lies, and they are still our best friend, America has sold out. AND TO SUM IT ALL UP THE MIDDLE CLASS ARE LOSING JOBS LEFT AND RIGHT, CANT GET EMPLOYED, STRUGGLING, UNEMPLOYMENT ENDING, THANK YOU BUSH, AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST WE ARE SITTING HERE BROKE AS A JOKE, MEANWHILE BIG BUSINESS MADE 6 BILLION THIS YEAR, HURRAY! HURRAY!

Gas prices around the world 30.Jul.2004 12:42

Sheik Yerbooti

Think you pay a lot for gas? Perhaps you'd prefer to live in Venezuela.

Gasoline prices in the United States, which have recently hit record highs, are actually much lower than in many countries. A few countries, like Venezuela have prices that are far lower.

The main driver of price disparities between countries is government policy, according to AirInc, a company that tracks the cost of living in various places around the world. Many European nations tax gasoline heavily, with taxes making up as much as 75 percent of the cost of a gallon of gasoline, said a spokesperson for AirInc.

In Venezuela, on the other hand, oil is produced by a government-owned company and local gasoline prices are kept low as a benefit to the nation's citizens, he said. All prices updated May, 2004.

Nation City Price