Monday, May 9, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
The next time you're gritting your teeth as you fill your tank with $4 gas, here's something to consider: Your pain is their gain.
The last of the Big Five oil companies announced first-quarter earnings Friday, so the totals are in. Between the five of them, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips made $34 billion in profits in the first three months of 2011 — up 42 percent from a year ago.
That's about $110 for every man, woman, and child in the United States — in just three months.
Exxon alone cleared a cool $10.7 billion profit from January through March, up 69 percent from 2010. That's $82,175 a minute.
Why the staggering increase in earnings? Precisely because you're paying $4 a gallon for gas.
Gas prices shoot up when oil prices shoot up, and when oil prices shoot up for reasons that have nothing to do with how much it costs to bring it out of the ground, it's a windfall for the folks who produce it.
The average cost to produce a barrel of oil, including exploration, development, extraction and taxes, is about $30, according to a U.S. Energy Information Administration survey. The going rate to buy one is about $113.
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