While U.S. gas prices climb past $4 a gallon on the coasts, oil companies and their CEOs are making out like bandits.
BP, ConocoPhillips, Valero and Exxon Mobil all released their first-quarter earnings this week. According to a report by ABC News, ConocoPhilips announced earnings of $3 billion, compared to $2.1 billion at this time last year, while Valero took in $98 billion compared to a loss at this time last year of $113 million.
Chevron is expected to announced its first-quarter earnings today, while Marathon Oil of Houston is expected to announce its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Chevron had profits of $10.5 billion at this time last year, while Marathon had profits of $1.5 billion, according to the report.
BP, whose Deepwater Horizon rig dumped about 4.9 million barrels into the Gulf of Mexico and killed 11 workers last year, only earned $5.48 billion this quarter. It earned $5.6 billion during the first quarter of 2010, but had to pay out about $384 million in charges stemming from the disaster, according to the report.
The companies' CEOs did very well for themselves. The top earner, Rex Tillerson of Exxon Mobil, took in $21.5 million. At the low end of the scale, Robert Dudley of BP took in just $6.8 million.
It may prove a windfall for Republicans in the next presidential election as well, according to House Speaker John Boehner. "If gas prices are at five or six dollars," he told ABC News, "(Obama) certainly isn't going to win" re-election.
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