Chevron posted a modest 4.2 percent increase in first-quarter profits compared to 2011, increasing net gains from $6.2 billion to $6.5 billion. That still translates to more than $71 million per day in the first three months of 2012.
Despite a drop in production, a 12 percent increase in average oil prices boosted Chevron’s profits this quarter.
Here’s the context for Chevron’s $6.5 billion profits:
Chevron paid a 19 percent effective federal tax rate in 2011, after making $26.9 billion profit.
Spent 19.2 percent of its Q1 profits buying back stocks ($1.25 billion), which enriches the largest shareholders.
Production dropped by nearly 5 percent, from 2.76 million barrels per day in Q1 FY 2011 to 2.63 million barrels in 2012.
Chevron CEO John Watson received $25 million compensation last year, a raise of 52 percent. Chevron’s Vice President received a 75 percent increase to $7.8 million.
Chevron is sitting on even more cash reserves, $18.9 billion, up from $15.9 billion in January.
Has spent more than $500,000 on federal political contributions in the 2012 election cycle. 87 percent of these contributions went to Republicans.
Has spent $3.24 million on lobbying in the first few months of 2012, after spending $9.51 million lobbying in 2011. Some of the Chevron PAC’s major recipients for 2012 include House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) ($5,000), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) ($5,000), Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) ($5,000), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) ($7,500), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) ($5,000).
Chevron is in a legal battle over a $18 billion judgment for environmental damage to Ecuador’s rainforest communities. According to Amazon Defense Coalition, the company has tried to block the decision four different times.
In January, Chevron had a natural gas explosion off the coast of Nigeria, which killed two contractors and “caused a fire to burn for weeks,” according to Reuters.
With just BP left to report its profits on Tuesday, four of the five Big Oil companies have already made over $26 billion in the first 91 days of 2012.