As long as your name is Exxon or Shell. Both companies are producing record profits, with Exxon being up 56 percent over the 3rd Quarter of last year. It's good to know that someone profits when OPEC keeps the price of oil high. So what's the explanation? Are these companies cooking the books, or do they have lots of money invested in refining (remember, the price of refining remains the same per barrel no matter how much that barrel initially cost), or is this just an old school conspiracy/price-gouge? I'm not really feeling smart enough today to figure out this one, sorry.
I do have my theories, though, which I will naturally share with you. One is that everyone is making a last-minute run for their money, before all the oil dries up. Well, I guess it probably won't dry up, but it will become much less profitable to extract in a few years. And guess what comes when these huge oil companies become unprofitable? Bankruptcy? Har, har. That's for other countries' business firms. Here in the land of the free, our taxes go for...more government subsidies! Yay! That's right, YOU, in a few short years (okay, maybe 5-10) will be paying taxes to keep these bloated profiteers afloat when they're not making $5.6 billion a quarter (Exxon's 3Q profit) anymore.
"b...but...we didn't KNOW that sucking things out of the ground and selling them for enormous profit was unsustainable!"
Actually, what really pisses me off about this whole deal is the implications it has on alternative energy sources. I'm talking about the market fundamentalists, here. They claim that the market won't support other sources of energy. Well, no shit! How can ANYTHING other than oil possibly post profits of hundreds of billions of dollars a year? You're taking a non-renewable resource and treating it as capital (like you BUILT it or something) which will never run out. Just because you can't make the same amount of money on solar or wind power (because now you have to invest money in technologies to extract it, and that cost has already been paid for in the oil industry), means that the market won't allow it? I say phooey!
/end rant, only because I'm at work