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Big oil companies post record profits for 2006
The three giant US-based energy conglomerates—ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhilips—posted record profits for 2006, according to reports issued by the companies at the end of the week.
Profiteering off of the doubling of crude oil prices in the space of just two years—topping $78 a barrel in the summer of 2006—the big three recorded combined windfall profits of over $72 billion.
ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded company, raked in $39.5 billon last year—the largest annual profit recorded in US corporate history. The oil giant generated a staggering average of $108 million in profits a day, or $4.5 million an hour. The total topped the previous record for corporate profit, also set by Exxon Mobil in 2005, of $36.13 billion.
Exxon’s total annual profits amounted to more than the federal government spends on public K-12 education per year and were roughly equivalent to the amount that Congress appropriated to provide health care for some 6 million low-income children over a span of 10 years.
Total revenues for the biggest oil company topped $377 billion last year, an amount greater than the gross national product of countries that include Belgium, Sweden, Turkey and Austria.
The profits of ExxonMobil’s closest US competitors also soared. Chevron, the nation’s second-largest oil company, posted its most profitable year on record with $17.1 billion in earnings, while number-three ConocoPhillips did likewise, taking in $15.55 billion.