This is why I'm paying over $80.00 to fill the tank on my mini-van. Yes, my MINI VAN. I think this article says a lot about what is REALLY behind our high gas prices. You can't even buy a Natural Gas car yet in Utah, but believe me, our family will be getting one at our earliest opportunity.
Big Oil posts its biggest quarter ever
Profits of 6 top firms jumped to $51.5 billion on surge in crude price
Aug 02, 2008 04:30 AM
New York–Chevron Corp said yesterday record oil prices drove second-quarter earnings up 11 per cent to its highest-ever profit, but weak margins from gasoline production led to a big loss at its refining operations.
U.S. oil prices averaged slightly less than $125 (U.S.) a barrel in the quarter, nearly double the average from a year earlier. But gasoline prices only rose 25 per cent during that same period, resulting in weak profit margins for the fuel.
Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil company, said net income rose to $5.98 billion, or $2.90 a share, from $5.38 billion, or $2.52 a share, last year.
Analysts, on average, expected the company to earn around $3.02 a share.
Like its competitors, Chevron made the bulk of its money at its exploration and production arm, also known as the upstream, where income nearly doubled from a year ago to $7.25 billion.
Chevron said the average sales price for crude and natural gas liquids was $109 a barrel in the quarter, up from $57 a barrel in the year-earlier period.
In addition to Chevron, soaring commodity prices led to record quarters for Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips, BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC. Exxon Mobil logged the largest-ever quarterly operating profit for a U.S. company. Barring companies that made huge profits on one-time gains like bankruptcy settlements and spinoffs, Exxon Mobil holds the top 10 records for biggest U.S. quarterly earnings.
French energy company Total SA said yesterday its profit climbed 38.7 per cent in the second quarter to $7.38 billion as sales rose 23 per cent to $75.25 billion.
Total's earnings were at the top end of analysts' expectations.
Unlike some other oil majors, Total reported production growth of 1.3 per cent in the second quarter.
Altogether, the profits of the six companies jumped more than 40 per cent in the second quarter to $51.5 billion, the first time big Western oil companies have ever reached that level.
Also yesterday, Norway's state-controlled StatoilHydro ASA reported a 37 per cent rise in second-quarter net profits, to $3.7 billion.
At Chevron, the company division that refines and sells gasoline actually swung to a loss of $734 million in the quarter after earning $1.3 billion a year ago. The culprit: those same crude prices that lifted upstream earnings.
Like its peers, Chevron doesn't produce enough oil on its own to feed its refineries, forcing it to buy some on the open market.
Chevron said overall production in the quarter fell about 3 per cent from a year ago, hurt in part by production-sharing contracts.
It said startups will lift output in the second half.
From the Star's wire services