Severl major oil companies yesterday followed the industry trend in announcing huge profits for the second quarter of 1979, a time when many drivers were waiting in gas lines.

Mobil, the nation's second largest oil firm, said profits has risen 38 percent in the period, No. 6 ranked Standard Oil of California reported a 61 percent rise; No. 7 ranked Atlantic Richfield announced a 23 percent increase; and No. 8 ranked Shell Oil Co. said its profits were up 55 percent in the second quarter.

In addition, Exxon, the nation's largest oil company, which announced a 20 percent increase in second quarter profits at the start of the week, yesterday raised its quarterly dividend from 90 cents a share to $1.

The companies listed several reasons for the big increases, including rising prices of gasoline, better results from chemical operations and more profits from overseas operations.

Among the oil company profits announced yesterday:

Mobil said profits rose to $404 million ($1.91 a share) compared with $293 million (1.38) a year ago. Revenues rose to $10.6 billion from $8.8 billion.

In the first half, Mobil said, income was $841 million ($3.97) compared with $534 million ($2,25). Sales were $21 billion compared with $17.5 billion.

Mobil Chairman Rawleigh Warner Jr. said most of the company's gain came from foreign operations.

Standard Oil of California said its worldwide earnings increased primarily also on the strength of foreign operations offesetting a decline in earnings from domestic petroleum activities.

Net income was $412 million (2.41) against $256 million ($1.21) a year ago. Sales were $7 billion against $6 billion.

First half profit was $759 million ($4.44) on sales of $13.9 billion compared with $499 million ($2.93) a year ago on sales of $11.7 billion.

Atlantic Richfield attributed its gain primarily to an increase in production and price of oil from Alaska. Strong downstream petroleum markets and a improved chemical business also enhanced earnings

The company reported a record $260 million in earnings (or $2.12), up from $211 million ($1.73) last year. Sales rose to $3.7 billion from $3.1 billion a year ago.

Earnings for the first six months were $503 million ($4.10) on revenues of $7.2 billion, compared with $361 million ($2.97) on sales of $6.1 billion last year.

Shell credited higher oil and natural gas prices, as well as more sales of chemical products, for its gains. But Shell President John Bookout said rising costs would make it unlikely that the company's profits on sales of gasoline and other products will be up for the year

In the second quarter, Shell's profits rose from $179 million last year to 277 million in this year's second quarter. Earnings per share climbed from $1.21 to $2.80 and revenues from $2.8 billion to 3.5 billion.

For the first six months, Shell said profits were up 35 percent to $5.1 million, ($3.27) from $372 million (2.52). First half revenues totaled $6.5 billion compared with $5.4 billion last year.

Conoco Inc. had quarterly earnings of $215.8 million ($2.01), up 40 percent from $153 million ($1.43) last year. The ninth-ranked oil company reported sales of $3 billion, compared with $2.5 billion a year ago.

Phillips Petroleum, ranked 11th had profits of $214.6 million ($1.39), up 44 percent from $149 million (97 cents) last year. Revenues rose to $2.2 billion from $1.7 billion.

For the first half, Phillips' profits were $391.6 million ($2.54) up from $319.8 million ($2.08) last year. Revenues were $4.20 billion compared to $3.47 billion.

Higher prices and greater sales also pushed up profits for Union Oil Co. of California. Union, the nation's 13th largest oil firm, reported quarterly earnings of $128.2 million ($1.48) up 48 percent from $86.6 million (99 cents) a year ago. Revenues rose to $1.9 billion from $1.6 billion.

Six month earnings for 1979 were $242.3 million compared to $165.9 million last year. Per share earnings were up to $2.79 from $1.87 last year, ad revenues rose to $3.6 billion from $3.1 billion.

Cities Service Co., ranked 16th in the industry, reported a 90 percent jump in second quarter profits over the same period last year.

Quarterly earnings for Cities Service were $76.7 million ($2.77) on revenues of $1.44 billion compared with $40.4 million ($1.45) on revenues of $1.15 billion last year.

First half earnings were $155.2 million ($5.60) on revenue of $2.90 billion compared with $95.7 million (3.45) on revenue of $2.23 billion last year. CAPTION: Chart, Big Oil Profits, By Alice Kreese -- The Washington Post