Lest we forget…. Exxon posts $40 B profit

And let’s not forget the words of our former Federal Reserve Chief – Alan Greenspan    

“Greenspan, 81, who served as chairman of the US Federal Reserve for almost two decades, writes: ‘I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.’

Exxon Mobil Profit Sets Record Again

Published: February 1, 2008

Exxon Mobil delivered its strongest performance ever last year, earning a record $40.6 billion in net income because of surging oil prices, the company said Friday.

The figure, a 3 percent increase from the previous year, exceeded the company’s own record for profits at an American corporation, set in 2006, and is nearly twice what it earned in 2003.

Exxon said its fourth-quarter net income rose 14 percent, to $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share. That also made it the company’s most profitable quarter ever.

The top Western oil companies are having a tougher time finding reserves and expanding their production as access to resources has tightened in recent years in places like Russia and Venezuela and conventional sources of oil dries up in the North Sea. The industry is also being pressured by rising costs and shortages of workers, rigs and engineering capacity.

But Exxon, like most oil companies, has benefited from a near-doubling of oil prices last year. In New York, oil futures rose from a year-low of about $50 a barrel in early 2007 to a peak of nearly $100 by the end of the year.

The company recorded annual sales of $404.5 billion, up 7 percent from 2006. It had $20.9 billion in capital and exploration expenditure, up $1 billion from the previous year.

Exxon expanded its hydrocarbons production in the fourth quarter by 1 percent, thanks to growing natural gas output from its projects in Qatar. Natural gas production rose 12 percent, to 10.4 billion cubic feet a day, in the fourth quarter.

But oil production dropped by 6 percent in the last quarter, to 2.5 million barrels a day, after the company pulled out of Venezuela.

Meanwhile, OPEC, which was meeting in Vienna on Friday, decided to leave its production levels unchanged, resisting pressure from developing nations to pump more oil into the global economy.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is set to meet again next month, and the cartel signaled it would be ready to cut production then to make up for a seasonal slowdown in demand in the second quarter.

OPEC’s actions mean the cartel is determined to keep prices from falling below $80 a barrel, according to energy experts.

“The significant uncertainties associated with the projected downturn in the global economy called for vigilant attention to their impact on key market fundamentals,” OPEC said in a statement after the meeting. The cartel, which accounts for 40 percent of the world’s oil exports, signaled its “determination to take every measure deemed necessary to keep the market stable.”

Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, reported that its fourth-quarter net income rose 29 percent, to $4.87 billion.

The company’s exploration and production division benefited from the rise of oil prices but profits at its refining business fell sharply because of unplanned shutdowns at some of its plants in the United States. Quarterly earnings at the refining unit fell 79 percent to $204 million.

Greenspan, 81, who served as chairman of the US Federal Reserve for almost two decades, writes: ‘I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.’

Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m

Peter Beaumont and Joanna Walters in New York
Sunday September 16, 2007
The Observer

The man once regarded as the world’s most powerful banker has bluntly declared that the Iraq war was ‘largely’ about oil.

Appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1987 and retired last year after serving four presidents, Alan Greenspan has been the leading Republican economist for a generation and his utterings instantly moved world markets.

In his long-awaited memoir – out tomorrow in the US – Greenspan, 81, who served as chairman of the US Federal Reserve for almost two decades, writes: ‘I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.’


In The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World, he is also crystal clear on his opinion of his last two bosses, harshly criticising George W Bush for ‘abandoning fiscal constraint’ and praising Bill Clinton’s anti-deficit policies during the Nineties as ‘an act of political courage’. He also speaks of Clinton‘s sharp and ‘curious’ mind, and ‘old-fashioned’ caution about the dangers of debt.

Greenspan’s damning comments about the war come as a survey of Iraqis, which was released last week, claims that up to 1.2 million people may have died because of the conflict in Iraq – lending weight to a 2006 survey in the Lancet that reported similarly high levels.

More than one million deaths were already being suggested by anti-war campaigners, but such high counts have consistently been rejected by US and UK officials. The estimates, extrapolated from a sample of 1,461 adults around the country, were collected by a British polling agency, ORB, which asked a random selection of Iraqis how many people living in their household had died as a result of the violence rather than from natural causes.

Previous estimates gave a range between 390,000 and 940,000, the most prominent of which – collected by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and reported in the Lancet in October 2006 – suggested 654,965 deaths.

Although the household survey was carried out by a polling organisation, rather than researchers, it has again raised the spectre that the 2003 invasion has caused a far more substantial death toll than officially acknowledged.

The ORB survey follows an earlier report by the organisation which suggested that one in four Iraqi adults had lost a family member to violence. The latest survey suggests that in Baghdad that number is as high as one in two. If true, these latest figures would suggest the death toll in Iraq now exceeds that of the Rwandan genocide in which about 800,000 died.

The Lancet survey was criticised by some experts and by George Bush and British officials. In private, however, the Ministry of Defence’s chief scientific adviser Sir Roy Anderson described it as ‘close to best practice’.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *