The recent rise in gasoline prices has resulted in a rise of misplaced explanations about the reasons behind it. The latest of these came this week from Bill O’Reilly, who argued that oil companies are to blame because they’re purposefully taking gasoline and diesel out of the U.S. market and exporting them overseas to “make bigger profits.” While his rationale may make for an entertaining conspiracy theory, the facts just don’t support it. The U.S. actually has a surplus of gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products.
“This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy.” This statement came from President Obama’s State of the Union address just a few weeks ago, where he promoted the growth of oil and natural gas production as part of pursuing “American-made energy” for the United States. Despite the rhetoric, the administration’s 2013 budget proposal seems to suggest that oil and natural gas aren’t really part of this “all of the above” strategy.
The oil contained in Canada’s oil sands is one of the largest energy resources in the world. To produce it in a way that’s not only economic but also has less impact on the environment has been one of the great engineering and technology challenges of our industry. ExxonMobil and our Canadian affiliate Imperial Oil have been investing in this challenge for more than 40 years.
ExxonMobil’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2011 estimated results came out today. Our fourth-quarter 2011 earnings were $9.4 billion, and our global earnings total for the year was $41 billion. As I said yesterday, some in Washington will try to make political capital out of oil industry earnings, and will use this opportunity to call for new energy taxes. So I thought I would mention some interesting facts …