[permaculture] Exxon makes record pfofits and loves "scarcity" i.eloves the Peak Oil mythology

Robert Waldrop bwaldrop at cox.net
Tue Feb 3 09:19:05 EST 2009


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nicholas Roberts" 
<nicholas at themediasociety.org>
> I am afraid the Peak Oil myth driving the 
> Transition movement is really only
> good for corporate profits..
> I am assuming no-one has managed to dent Nathan 
> Lewis work on world energy
> futures and the fungible nature of fossil fuels. 
> i.e you can make synthetic
> fuel from coal, gas, etc

What myth?

It is physically possible to make liquid fuels 
from coal, the Nazis did that during WW II.  But 
it is a nasty process, and the energy returned on 
energy invested is not good.  "Coal to liquids" is 
one of the many industrial dead ends.

Robert Waldrop, OKC
www.barkingfrogspermaculture.org


> artifical scarcity is a beloved marketing 
> strategy i.e. De Beers artifical
> manufacture artificial scarcity in the diamon 
> trade
> http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1205906,00.html
>
>
>
> Exxon shatters profit recordsOil giant makes 
> corporate history by booking
> $11.7 billion in quarterly profit; earns $1,300 
> a second in 2007.By David
> Ellis<http://money.cnn.com/2008/02/01/news/companies/mailto:david.ellis@turner.com>,
> CNNMoney.com staff writer
> February 1 2008: 2:26 PM EST
>
> NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Exxon Mobil made 
> history on Friday by reporting
> the highest quarterly and annual profits ever 
> for a U.S. company, boosted in
> large part by soaring crude prices.
>
> Exxon, the world's largest publicly traded oil 
> company, said fourth-quarter
> net income rose 14% to $11.66 billion, or $2.13 
> per share. The company
> earned $10.25 billion, or $1.76 per share, in 
> the year-ago period.
>
> The profit topped Exxon's previous quarterly 
> record of $10.7 billion, set in
> the fourth quarter of 2005, which also was an 
> all-time high for a U.S.
> corporation.
>
> "Exxon can put out some amazing numbers and this 
> is one of those cases,"
> said Jason Gammel, senior analyst at Macquarie 
> Securities in New York.
>
> Exxon also set an annual profit record by 
> earning $40.61 billion last year -
> or nearly $1,300 per second in 2007. That 
> exceeded its previous record of
> $39.5 billion in 2006.
>
> In the fourth quarter, the company said revenue 
> rose 29.5% from a year ago
> to $116.64 billion.
>
> Analysts were looking for the company to report 
> quarterly profit of $10.36
> billion on revenue of $114.9 billion, according 
> to earnings tracker Thomson
> Financial.
>
> Despite topping Wall Street's estimates, Exxon
> (XOM<http://money.cnn.com/quote/quote.html?symb=XOM&source=story_quote_link>,
> Fortune 
> 500<http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2007/snapshots/496.html?source=story_f500_link>)
> shares slipped in afternoon trading.
>
> The company reported strong results in its 
> worldwide exploration and
> production, or "upstream," business. Profit rose 
> 32% to $8.2 billion during
> the quarter, offsetting some weakness earlier in 
> the year.
>
> Income in Exxon's refining, or "downstream," 
> business rose 15.7% during the
> quarter to $2.27 billion.
>
> Exxon attributed its impressive results to 
> strong performance across its
> divisions, but a large part of the profit surge 
> was underpinned by climbing
> oil prices.
>
> Crude prices skyrocketed nearly 60% last year. 
> The surge helped prices break
> through the $100 a barrel mark for the first 
> time ever early last month.
> Since crossing that milestone, prices have eased 
> to around $90 a barrel.
>
> Natural gas prices also jumped last year, albeit 
> marginally. But costs have
> also increased for the oil companies, which is 
> why profits haven't risen as
> rapidly as crude prices.
>
> Big oil companies that both pump oil and refine 
> crude into gasoline have to
> spend more for crude but are unable to pass on 
> all the extra cost to
> consumers, which eats in to gasoline profit 
> margins.
>
> The average price for a gallon of regular 
> gasoline hit an all-time high of
> $3.23 in May, according to the motorist 
> organization AAA. The high prices
> were blamed on strong demand and a series of 
> accidents that shut down
> refineries in the U.S. But slack demand for 
> gasoline in the latter half of
> last year kept gas prices from rising as 
> dramatically as crude prices.
>
> Exxon's record results, which coincide with 
> smaller rival Chevron's
> (CVX<http://money.cnn.com/quote/quote.html?symb=CVX&source=story_quote_link>,
> Fortune 
> 500<http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2007/snapshots/290.html?source=story_f500_link>)
> profit jump, drew some fire from both government 
> officials and consumer
> rights groups, who have argued previously that 
> the the oil industry is
> deliberately restricting supply and profiting on 
> the back of U.S. motorists.
>
> Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. took a swipe at the 
> two firms, calling on
> fellow lawmakers to break the country's 
> dependence on foreign oil and
> rollback unnecessary tax incentives for oil 
> companies.
>
> Judy Dugan, research director of The Foundation 
> for Taxpayer and Consumer
> Rights, urged Congress to initiate some 
> oversight into unregulated energy
> trading markets, which have been accused of 
> helping to drive up the price of
> oil.
>
> "Exxon is happy to take advantage of these 
> prices," said Dugan.
>
> But finding oil has also become more costly. The 
> oil boom has led to a surge
> in exploration and drilling activity, which has 
> pushed up the price for
> skilled workers and equipment.
>
> Furthermore, new supplies of oil are 
> increasingly difficult to find and
> generally tend to be located in harder to 
> reach - and hence more expensive -
> places. The new natural gas field discovered 
> this week by Brazil's Petrobras
> lies three miles under the ocean.
>
> ExxonMobil representatives also stressed the 
> cyclical nature of the business
> and noted that growing global demand for energy 
> will require companies to
> heavily invest in future growth. The company 
> said it estimates that global
> demand will grow by 30 percent by 2030.
>
> "The challenge for all of us in the industry is 
> how to we meet that
> increased demand," said Henry Hubble, vice 
> president of investor relations.
>
> Exxon and Chevron aren't the only two oil giants 
> to report impressive
> earnings recently. Conoco (COP, Fortune
> 500<http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2007/snapshots/1050.html?source=story_f500_link>),
> the nation's third-largest oil company, trounced 
> profit estimates by nearly
> 25% when it reported last week. And Royal Dutch 
> Shell PLC, Europe's largest
> oil company, reported a 60% increase in profits 
> Thursday.
>
> *-CNNMoney.com staff writer Steve Hargreaves 
> contributed to this
> report* [image:
> To top of 
> page]<http://cnnmoney.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=Exxon+posts+quarterly%2C+annual+profit+records+-+Feb.+1%2C+2008&expire=-1&urlID=26270886&fb=Y&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmoney.cnn.com%2F2008%2F02%2F01%2Fnews%2Fcompanies%2Fexxon_earnings%2F&partnerID=2200#TOP>
>
> -- 
> Nicholas Roberts
> [im] skype:niccolor
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