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Intro: "Times are good for the six largest oil companies, with profits easily surpassing the figures from before the 2008 financial meltdown."

ExxonMobil and the other 'super major' oil companies reported huge fourth-quarter profits. (photo: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)
ExxonMobil and the other 'super major' oil companies reported huge fourth-quarter profits. (photo: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)



Big 6 Oil Companies Complete a Trillion-Dollar Decade

By David Wallechinsky, AllGov

06 March 12

 

imes are good for the six largest oil companies, with profits easily surpassing the figures from before the 2008 financial meltdown. In 2011 ExxonMobil led the way with profits of $41.1 billion. Shell was in second place at $28.6 billion, followed by Chevron at $26.8 billion and BP at $23.9 billion. Total was back at $15.9 billion and ConocoPhillips trailed at $12.4 billion. All six showed stronger profits than in 2007.

Overall it's been literally a trillion-dollar decade for the oil and gas giants. From 2002 to 2011, ExxonMobil gained $310.6 billion, Shell $203.9 billion, Chevron $151.8 billion and BP $146.9 billion despite its loss year because of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Although oil industry advocates, such as Jack Gerard, the CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, have recently whined about "discrimination" against the oil industry, Taxpayers for Common Sense has called attention to at least a dozen different subsidies that favor the industry. Brian Siu, a policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Roll Call that one subsidy, allowing companies to deduct intangible drilling costs, has been available to the industry since 1916.

To Learn More:

Big Oil Tops $150 Billion in Profits in 2011 (Taxpayers for Common Sense)

Financial Performance of the Major Oil Companies, 2007-2011 (by Robert Pirog, Congressional Research Service) (pdf)

Petroleum Industry Claims Cutting Its Tax Breaks is "Discriminatory" (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

U.S. Use of Gasoline is Down, Yet Pump Prices are Up as Speculators Move In (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

Senate Retains $2 Billion in Annual Tax Breaks for Big 5 Oil Companies (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

 

Comments   

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-17 # lnason@umassd.edu 2012-03-07 03:23
Total profits to oil companies average around 7 cents per gallon. Federal, state and local taxes currently average 48.8 cents per gallon.

One can complain about the oil companies greed but the real profiteers here are the government bureaucrats who collect the taxes.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2012-03-07 09:26
Quoting lnason@umassd.edu:
Total profits to oil companies average around 7 cents per gallon. Federal, state and local taxes currently average 48.8 cents per gallon.

One can complain about the oil companies greed but the real profiteers here are the government bureaucrats who collect the taxes.
Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts

That's donning blue-colored glasses if ever I read it.
WHo the Hell d'you think OWNS the "representative s" who employ the bureaucrats and dispense favors to their corporate masters on high via lobbyists or "burrowers" largesse in the other direction, skimmed off before it even gets near the treasury?!
 
 
0 # Ken Hall 2012-03-07 21:28
Blind ideology at work, don't try to inject fact or rational thinking into the mix, it won't change the output.
 
 
+4 # Vardoz 2012-03-07 10:13
Human greed has destroyed lives economies and now the Earth itself. All of the money that oil companies make will not make their CEOs immortal. I think Warren Buffett, in his advanced years, understood that you can't take it with you. It never occurs to these people to leave the world a better place. They have no vision, ethics or principles. They are just profit mongers at any cost to anything. It is a form of mental illness.
 
 
+2 # ABen 2012-03-07 10:21
Please remove the blinders Lnason. Your final statement is too ridiculously illogical for comment. The idea of billions of dollars of tax subsides going to companies that are consistently making record profits is obscene. The fact that CEOs from that same industry are threatening to use the industry's power and wealth to oppose Obama from trying to end those subsidies is UN-American.
 
 
-3 # lnason@umassd.edu 2012-03-07 16:47
ABen:

I'm perfectly open to hearing new facts. What subsidies are you talking about?

To the best of my knowledge the "subsidies" are what Washington calls "tax expenditures" -- money that is earned by the taxpayer that the government allows the taxpayer to keep. But if there is more to it, I'd certainly be interested in finding out any details you have.

Until I hear otherwise, I will maintain that the primary financial benefits of oil production go to government bureaucrats rather than to the workers and managers and stockholders of oil companies.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 

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