T Nation

Who Benefits From the Gas Prices?


I know we are very partisan around here, but no matter how left or right you are, you cannot agree with the gas prices nowadays. ABC recently ran this story, check it out.

Aug. 11, 2005 ? As American consumers increasingly feel the pinch at the pump, oil companies have watched their profits soar.

The newest numbers from the second quarter of this year show Exxon Mobil with a 32 percent increase in earnings over this time last year ? that's more than $7.6 billion.

Oil Prices Hover Around $65 Per Barrel

Oil Prices Hover Around $65 Per Barrel
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BP saw a profit increase of 38 percent, totaling $6.7 billion, while Conoco Phillips ? the third largest oil company in the country ? recorded a 56 percent increase in profit, more than $3 billion.

"The huge profits are enormous because the public is drastically overpaying what it costs to produce," said Joan Claybrook, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

Many of these companies long ago bought oil reserves at prices of $10 to $25 a barrel. With prices peaking near the $67 mark, the profit margin has been enormous.

Even more eye-opening is the profit in Saudi Arabia. Saudis are making an average of $208 million more each day since the increase in crude oil prices first began in December 2003.

Will Profits Lead to Solutions?

But many wonder if any of those increasing profits ? overseas and at home ? are being spent on energy solutions to solve refinery woes and shrinking U.S. oil production.

"The answer is yes, but the impact of those is not immediate," said Mike Rothman, the head of integrated oil research for the International Strategy & Investment Group.

Consumer advocates say Congress is doing nothing to speed up the process, instead passing an energy bill that gives tax breaks to the oil industry.

"They [the oil industry] got $6 billion in the energy bill over 10 years. That's a huge, huge amount of money," said Claybrook. "And you'd think with the price of oil at $65 a barrel, they didn't need any new incentives."

ABC News' David Muir filed this report for "World News Tonight."


We all talk about not being sheeple on this site...how about boycotting the motherfuckers at Exxon Mobil?


As soon as I can stick a sheet to the top of my car and sail to work... I'll start boycotting!


The oil problem is never going to be solved as long as we let OPEC regulate itself. Granted it is their oil, but if we put an economic pinch on them maybe next time they won't all sit at their roundtable and laugh over the the cut in in their oil production. It is a vicious cycle with OPEC, I am a conservative republican but something needs to be done, production is cut by OPEC and the refinieries purposely to raise profit and it sucks. A boycott would never work because everyone needs to get from A to B. I'm still a very firm believer in at least a little ANWR research, if it is as oil rich as thought OPEC would be a nasty little nightmare gone tomorrow.


Americans have enjoyed cheap petrol (gas to you guys) for far too long IMHO. This is the reason you are still driving gas-guzzling SUVs and V8s. In fact, you are still enjoying cheap fuel. $3 a gallon, I seem to recall from another thread. Well whoopy-doo. Around $1.10 a liter in Aus at the moment, and that is still cheap. A pound a liter in the UK, I gather.

Besides which, even at the European prices, just how much of your weekly budget really goes on fuel? Not very much, in nearly all cases. The main costs of running a car are still depreciation and insurance.

Grow up and stop whinging!


The reason we (Americans) are driving V-8's and SUV's is because that is how God intended it.

The reason Europeans pay such high gas prices is because they are socialist pusstards.

The reason Australian "petrol" is so bloomin' costly is because you are all descended from criminal stock and have silly, silly slang. Such as "whinging."

That is all.


Post of the year.


Vroom, I enjoy most of your posts, but I cant agre with this one. I am Democrat, and so I may be called an idealist, but we, as consumers are the base of capitalist culture. We can dictate the way things are going to a degree, so why not change? it is this apathy and defeatist attitude that are the reason that we control so little of what we buy.


I concur. I was wondering when / if others felt the way I do about OPEC right now. Glad to know I am not alone.


So, just because other countries (such as yours) have been receiving the ROYAL SHAFT on oil prices for so long, it is OK that OPEC has gone renegade with their profiteering?

Grow up and stop whining? Maybe you should WAKE up and try to do something about it. I, for one, have always thought that the prices you pay in Europe are assinign and have always supported an investigation (or at least INQUIRY) into OPEC's tyranny.

If your views on oil / fuel costs are shared by your countrymen, I guess it's no wonder they think (and are proving) they can get away with it.


That was funny.



I'm not really understanding. What would boycotting one oil company do? Vroom is right. You are demanding this product and it is being supplied to you at a price you are willing to pay.

Maybe you should just lobby the government to fix the price, even subsidize it. That's what Democrats do don't they?


By the way, prices are not something that you agree with or don't agree with. You can disagree with policy but not prices. I think what you really mean is that you don't agree with companies making a profit.


[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
I am Democrat, and so I may be called an idealist [quote]

Or other things...


Exactly. If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. Buy a horse. Or, if you just want to limit your exposure to high gas prices, get an economical car. And buy shares in an oil company, so that you too can profit from the high price.


harris447 wrote:
"The reason we (Americans) are driving V-8's and SUV's is because that is how God intended it.

The reason Europeans pay such high gas prices is because they are socialist pusstards.

The reason Australian "petrol" is so bloomin' costly is because you are all descended from criminal stock and have silly, silly slang. Such as "whinging."

That is all. "

Just a point, we all know how shit yank schooling is - anything not american is not known or simply ignored..... so for some clarity.... only the east coast'ers are decended from criminal stock - we south and west coast'ers are decendants of free settlers.
And by the way we're at bloody $1.20 a litre now.
And another interesting point - "god" meant us to run on biomass - from :http://www.ybiofuels.org/bio_fuels/history_diesel.html
"Diesel demonstrated his engine at the Exhibition Fair in Paris, France in 1898. This engine stood as an example of Diesel's vision because it was fueled by peanut oil"


Ha! So the rest of the world owes it to you to sell oil to you for less than they can get elsewhere?

When American companies make profits, it's healthy competition. When foreigners start to make profits from selling stuff to Americans at the going price, its called "gouging" and "tyranny". Give me a break! Oh, and the idea that OPEC has total control over the oil price is ludicrous.

Better get used to it. Oil prices aren't coming down significantly any time soon.


Let's clarify, gouging is what the oil companies are doing. Tyranny are the regimes that make up OPEC. Last time I checked, in 1991 when saddam was about to stomp a mudhole in Saudi Arabias' ass then shortly walk it dry, we saved them and that overly rich shithole Kuwait. I shouldn't leave out the help of GB. Minus these 2 countries the rest of the world deserves their astronomical prices for not doing a damn thing. We should have let saddam take both countries, then waltz in like we did, stomp him out, then we would be OPEC. Nice thought at least. Let the liberal flames spark up, I live for political discussion!!


OK, let's clarify something else while we're at it. The rest of the world has to pay higher prices at the pump because of government taxes, not because the oil price is higher there. Governments in most countries have taken the view that they need to do something to reduce their dependence on oil (as well as they like the revenue) so they tax fuel prices heavily. Eventually, I suspect, the American government will have to join the party as well. You guys can only go on living on borrowed money for so long.


Speculators are driving the market just as they drove the NASDAQ and S&P back in the 90s.


Excellent. See, I told you we agree on 99% of stuff.

The thing is the oil companies are eventually going to run out of oil. Not many other big-ass industries face that kind of extinction. So they are taking what they can get now, knowing they aren't going to be around forever.