What Five Oil Companies Did With Their $375 Million In Daily Profits

The Big Five oil companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell – are slated to announce their 2012 second-quarter profits later this week.

We can expect these companies, all of which rank in the top 10 of the “Fortune 500 Global Ranking,” to reveal billions of dollars more in profits, after earning $375 million in profits per day in 2011 ($261,000 per minute), and $368 million per day in the first three-months of 2012 — bringing their combined profits to $1 trillion from 2001 through 2011.

Below is a quick look at just how much these Big Oil companies are making, and where they are spending their billions in profits.

Big Oil’s Big Profits, In 24 Hours

  • In 60 seconds, these five companies earned $261,000 — more than 96 percent of American households make in one year.
  • These five oil companies received $6.6 million in federal tax breaks every day.
  • In 2011, the three largest domestic public oil companies spent $100 million of their profits each day, or over 50 percent, buying back their own stock to enrich their board, senior managers, and largest share holders.
  • The entire oil and gas industry spent on average $400,000 each day lobbying senators and representatives to weaken public health safeguards and keep big oil tax breaks, totaling nearly $150 million.
  • Each CEO of the Big Five companies received an average of $60,110 in compensation per day last year. On average, their pay jumped 55 percent in 2011. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson’s compensation came close to $100,000 per day last year.

Millions in Political Contributions and Lobbying

  • Despite ranking as some of the most successful companies in the world, big oil and gas companies continue to receive $4 billion in tax breaks each year.
  • Their efforts are paying off. This is the most anti-environment Congress in history, with the House of Representatives averaging one anti-environment vote per day, or a total 247 votes through mid-June. The biggest beneficiary of these votes has been Big Oil. The House voted to enrich the oil and gas industry 109 times, a total 44 percent of its anti-environment votes.
  • The House is on track to collect a record amount of oil industry contributions this cycle, having already reached 2008 and 2010 levels. And these are direct donations only — it does not include Super PAC spending or other campaign assistance.

Outside Interests and Big Oil Allies Spending Tens of Millions More to Influence the Energy Debate

  • Fueled by Koch Industries and other Big Oil interests, the industry is spending hundreds of millions to fund false ads in this year’s elections. According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, 85 percent of the dollars have funded false ad, during a season where most advertising have focused on energy.
  • Pro-Romney outside interest groups spent $24.6 million on energy ads through June 24, according to Kantar Media CMAG data. This is more than ten-times the amount spent by pro-Obama groups, which spent $2.3 million on energy spots.
  • American Energy Alliance, Americans for Prosperity, American Future Fund, and Crossroads GPS – the top outside pro-oil and pro-Romney interest group spenders – have spent a total $24.9 million on deceptive ads, many of them energy-related, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center.
  • Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity has devoted more than 90 percent of its ad spending to energy ads. Two of the Americans for Prosperity ads pushed patently false claims — roundly debunked by fact checkers — that the stimulus funded jobs overseas.
  • Fact checkers have thoroughly debunked these anti-clean energy ads. Both Politifact and the Washington Post Fact Checker have given the ad their worst ratings of “pants on fire” and four Pinocchios, respectively. Politifact found all three examples used to be false, with the ad stringing together “alarming” soundbites that are “ultimately ridiculous.”

11 Responses to What Five Oil Companies Did With Their $375 Million In Daily Profits

  1. Leif says:

    If they cannot be made to do it voluntarily, I would think a fiduciary court should show the way. Humanity deserves nothing less.

  2. Maurice Webb says:

    Trickle down, still looks yellow and smells funny.

  3. Interesting fact: Their profit goes up as their production goes down. Just as basic market theory predicts that prices go up as production goes down.

    What if their profits (and value of deposits) go way up by reducing production even more (great for the climate)?

    What if they start understanding that and pump their lobbying money into backing the climate hawks?

  4. Chris O'Neill says:

    the three largest domestic public oil companies spent $100 million of their profits each day, or over 50 percent, buying back their own stock to enrich their board, senior managers, and largest share holders

    There’s nothing wrong with buying back a company’s shares if that is the most sensible thing to do with profits. It does not discriminate in favor of large shareholders or anyone else other than in proportion to their shareholding. Just stick to the anti-social things those companies do without complaining about any innocent actions.

  5. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    They are just the biggest drug pushers of all time, outdoing the East India Company, the Colombian and Mexican cartels, the Big Tobacco bosses and the CIA by orders of magnitude. Their products kill many more people, too, even than tobacco. And we can and must live without it, and smash their business model by reducing the value of their toxic junk to absolute zero.

  6. prokaryotes says:

    A solemn anniversary, a scary new report, and some hope around the corner in the fight against big oil
    David Turnbull

    Today marks the two-year anniversary of a massive oil spill into the Kalamazoo River in Marshall, Michigan…a spill whose effects are still being felt in many ways today. By the time the spill was stopped in the late summer of 2010, some 1.2 million gallons of corrosive tar sands oil had been released into the Kalamazoo River watershed, making it the largest inland spill in US history. Cleanup is still ongoing – two full years later – and the costs of the cleanup are nearly $800 million, making it the costliest onshore spill in US history as well.

    These are scary facts on their own, but coupled with a recent report from the National Wildlife Foundation that outlines the shocking history of spills by Enbridge pipelines, they are downright terrifying. The report outlines over 800 pipeline spills during the period of 1999 to 2010, and brings to light a terrible record of safety for a company hoping to expand its pipelines all over North America.

  7. Mohammad says:

    The Department of Energy states this:

    Average cost per gallon in the US is $3.54 in June 2012

    62% of cost is crude oil, $2.1948
    12% to refine the oil, $0.4248
    12% in taxes, $0.4248
    14% in marketing and distribution, $0.4956
    Total, $3.5397

    I really don’t see where the profit is, even for the gas station itself. I used to own one, and I’d be lucky to make 3 cents off a gallon of gas while the federal government makes 18.4 cents a gallon and the state of Michigan made 46.5 cents a gallon.

    This really needs to be broken down thoroughly.

  8. Doug says:

    I would heartily agree with you if not for the fact that these companies probably OWN the fiduciary courts and every other public official. It’s the golden rule: He who has the gold (or oil in this case) makes the rules. It’s a sad state of affairs…

  9. This article showed up on my Twitter feed just below a headline about how one out of five kids in America live in poverty.

    Just sayin’.

  10. MorinMoss says:

    The profit is in the crude. Even for something as difficult to process as tar sands, the break-even oil price is about $50-60 per barrel.

    We’ve not seen a price that low in a few years and nothing that would make conventional crude unprofitable in a very long time.