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Page added on July 30, 2006

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Oil execs use slick language

Well, it’s no exaggeration to say that if you run a major oil company, you’ve just had a pretty darn good week.

The Big Five of Big Oil — Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell and BP — reported yet another round of sky-high quarterly profits last week, thanks largely to soaring oil prices.

With many analysts saying that rising demand and limited supply basically leave oil prices nowhere to go but up, is this the new status quo for the oil industry — a gusher of record profits quarter after quarter as consumers keep getting pummeled at the pump?

“Yes,” answered Matthew Simmons, chairman of Houston’s Simmons & Co. International, the world’s largest investment bank focusing on the energy business.

“And we shouldn’t give the companies any credit for their performance,” he said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with them.”

San Francisco Chronicle

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