Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Is it ok for oil companies to make soo much money?

So, we all heard (or actually, every year or so, we all hear) about Exxon's record annual profits. People seem to get mad every year when oil companies make this ridiculous amount of money, and frankly, we need to give them a break sometimes.
If the peak oil theory is true, then they could possibly be in big trouble in our lifetimes or sometime soon after...It doesn't even take the peak oil theory to lead to their demise...It could be improved hydrogen vehicle or battery powered vehicle efficiency.
Even presently, they have to invest more money from their profits in explorations, research and development in order to thrive.
Let's not forget that they are paying record taxes along with their record profits (about 42% of their last year's profits was paid in taxes according to CNN).

What I would really like to see is oil companies in general increasing their product range...If a lot of their profits come from gasoline used to power our cars, then they should invest some money in the possible fuel of the future, whichever it may be. It might help them to survive in the face of CO2 emission caps, peak oil and the full range of issues we are facing.

1 comment:

John Losinger said...

Good post.

Everyone also seems to forget that Exxon Mobil is a publicly traded company; meaning that Exxon's shareholders, not just the company, are making money. This is especially true given that Exxon offers high shareholder returns (dividends).

As long as people continue to invest in Exxon, they will continue to do what's profitable. Right now, that includes mainly traditional oil & gas. However, Exxon has some very well paid people whose job it is to decide which energy technologies make economic sense.

If, as you say, hydrogen or electric technologies become profitable, you can bet that Exxon will take advantage of them; with lots of cash in hand.