Opinion Editorials, February 2007, To see today's News, click here: www.aljazeerah.info
Bush's Mission Accomplished: Exxon Mobil Posts $39.5 Billion Profit in 2006
By Hassan El-Najjar
Al-Jazeerah, February 1, 2007
Researchers and students of the US foreign policy should notice this news and reference it as support for their hypotheses about why Bush was adamant to invade and occupy Iraq.
War creates chaos and insecurity in the crude oil market, which leads to the skyrocketing of prices. Ultimately, the unprecedented high prices fill the coffers of the owners of the oil industry with trillions of dollars.*
When Bush Sr. decided to go to war to evict Iraqis from Kuwait in 1991, rejecting all peace initiatives for a peaceful Iraqi withdrawal, the prices of crude oil were $13 per barrel. Last year, his son's policies escalated them to over $75 per barrel.
Now, the prices are as low as $50 per barrel, in order to allow New York Merchandise Exchange to buy contracts with low prices. They will waiting for a politically-orchestrated event, which will be used as an artificial pretext to allow prices to skyrocket back to $75 per barrel or higher, so they can sell their contracts then reaping hundreds of billions of dollars, and so on and so forth.*
The succors of course have no clue about this politically-orchestrated cycle of oil prices. They will still be talking about Sunni-Shi'i sectarian violence, the Iranian threat, and the new brilliant general who will bring us victory with his counter-insurgency plan!
The same argument applies to the military industry, which has been the main beneficiary of the war. Bush and his rubber-stamp Congress, with its supporting or non-binding resolutions, borrowed $3 trillion from the wealthy upper class and international investors to spend on the military and security industries in the previous six years.
Apparently, the true mission of the US ruling class, in the last six years, has been forcing the American people to give more than $3 trillion to the owners of the military and oil industries.
That was simple and clear.
Thus, when Bush celebrated his achievement and his great service to the military and oil industries, in May 2003, by writing "Mission Accomplished" on a US aircraft carrier, he was not hallucinating. He has accomplished to the military and the oil industries much beyond what they have dreamed about.
So, We, the People, let's rejoice and celebrate the accomplishments of our rulers. Let's not worry and be happy.
Long Live Carlyle!
Long Live Haliburton!
Long Live Exxon and its Seven Sisters!
Long Live American Democracy!
For a background, see:
AP Headline: Exxon Mobil posts record annual profit
By JOHN PORRETTO AP Business Writer
Feb 1, 2007, 9:47 AM EST
HOUSTON (AP) --
Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company - $39.5 billion - even as earnings for the last quarter of 2006 declined 4 percent.
The 2006 profit topped Exxon Mobil's own previous record of $36.13 billion set in 2005.
Revenue at the world's largest publicly traded oil company rose to $377.64 billion for the year, surpassing the record $370.68 billion Exxon posted in 2005.
"Exxon Mobil continued to leverage its globally diverse resource base to bring additional crude oil and natural gas to market," Rex W. Tillerson, chairman of the Irvin, Texas-based company, said in a statement.
Exxon Mobil's record annual earnings followed a year of extraordinarily high energy prices as crude oil topped $78 a barrel in the summer - driving up average gasoline prices in the United States to more than $3 a gallon. Prices retreated later in the year.
The fourth-quarter decline reflects lower profits from Exxon's refining and marketing operations and a sharp dropoff in natural gas prices.
Results for the October-December period mimicked those of U.S. competitor ConocoPhillips, which last week said its fourth-quarter profit fell 13 percent - also primarily because of lower natural gas prices and refining margins. But hefty earnings earlier in the year helped Houston-based ConocoPhillips record its most profitable year on record, earning $15.55 billion.
ConocoPhillips is the nation's third-largest integrated oil company behind Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp., which is scheduled to report 2006 results Friday.
Also Thursday, Royal Dutch Shell PLC reported a 21 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings, buoyed in part by high energy prices and the sale of some operations. Net profit came to $5.28 billion, up from $4.37 billion. But excluding divestitures and other one-time items, Shell's earnings from oil production fell 3 percent, while fourth-quarter sales were flat at $75.5 billion.
The company, based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, also said it had taken important steps to bulk up its proven reserves, which were revealed to have been inflated in a 2004 accounting scandal.
At Exxon Mobil, profit for the fourth quarter of 2006 declined to $10.25 billion from the $10.71 billion Exxon earned in the 2005 quarter - a record quarterly profit for any U.S. public company. That best-ever profit came when the price of both natural gas and crude oil skyrocketed in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which damaged wells, pipelines and refineries in the key energy-producing Gulf of Mexico.
Analysts largely have predicted declines in fourth-quarter earnings for the big U.S. oil companies because of the moderation in prices.
Exxon Mobil's per-share earnings in the fourth quarter rose to $1.76 from $1.71 as the company reduced the number of shares outstanding. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Financial had forecast earnings of $1.51 a share.
Excluding special items, Exxon Mobil earned $9.84 billion, or $1.69 a share, in the final three months of 2006.
Quarterly revenue fell to $90 billion from $99 billion in the year-ago period.
For the year, Exxon earned $6.62 per share in 2006 versus $5.71 per share in 2005.
Exxon shares slipped 10 cents to $74 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. They have tarded in a 52-week range of $56.64 to $79.
AP Business Writer Lauren Villagran in New York and Associated Press Writer Toby Sterling in Amsterdam, Netherlands contributed to this report.
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