OPEC may pump less crude; oil companies declare record profits

| 2/1/2008

Just two weeks after president Bush pleaded with OPEC to pump more oil, a spokesman for the cartel says it will not pump more, and in fact may pump less.

Bloomberg reports that Qatar’s energy minister says the world currently has sufficient supplies and that there’s even an oversupply in some areas. OPEC officials from Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya and Ecuador have also said in the past week that oil supplies are sufficient.

In New York, oil trading seemed unaffected by the statement. Crude prices were virtually unchanged at just under $92 a barrel at midday Wednesday.

In other oil news, the world’s biggest oil company, Exxon Mobil Corp., announced record profits Friday, Feb. 1, of $40.6 billion for 2007. Shell Oil Co. also announced record profits of $27.6 billion.

Bloomberg quotes a stockbroker as saying the huge profit reports may lead some members of Congress to conclude that Big Oil is “getting away with murder.”