By Joe Carroll
Friday, July 29, 2005
Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said yesterday that second-quarter profit rose 32 percent, to $7.64 billion, as Asia and North America used more crude oil and gasoline.
The quarterly profit was the third-highest in the company's history. Revenue climbed 25 percent, to $88.57 billion, Exxon said. A doubling of oil prices since 2003 has put the Irving, Tex.-based company on a pace to surpass Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this year as the largest U.S. company by total revenue.
Profit from worldwide oil and natural gas exploration and production operations jumped 28 percent, to $4.91 billion. Production decreased 4.3 percent, to 3.91 million barrels a day.
The gap between crude oil costs and prices for refined fuels was the widest ever, as consumption rose faster than supplies. Exxon's refining and marketing profit rose 34 percent, to $2.02 billion, mostly outside the United States.
Exxon chief executive Lee R. Raymond is investing in oil and gas fields in Africa and the Middle East as demand grows and output declines from older wells in Europe and North America.
Soaring demand for gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and chemicals helped boost U.S. crude oil futures to a second-quarter average of $53.22 a barrel.
Exxon Mobil and other oil companies may benefit from $2.6 billion in subsidies in the energy bill that is nearing passage in Congress. The subsidies, designed to encourage domestic oil and gas production, were part of an oil industry "wish list," according to David Hamilton, the Sierra Club's energy programs director.
About two-thirds of Exxon's profit comes from oil and gas production.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the world's third-largest publicly traded oil company, said yesterday that second-quarter profit rose 34 percent, to $5.24 billion. BP PLC, the second-largest, said on July 26 that profit rose 29 percent, to $5.59 billion.
ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said Wednesday that profit rose 51 percent, to $3.14 billion. Chevron Corp., the No. 2 U.S. oil company, is scheduled to announce second-quarter results today.