Energy companies report record increases despite sluggish economy

| 11/13/2008

While the financial news has been pretty bleak lately for truckers struggling to stay afloat amid slumping profits and low freight rates, the 19 major energy companies are reporting record net income increases – up 82 percent from a year ago – in the third quarter of 2008.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Energy Finance Report released on Thursday, Nov. 13, the major energy companies’ income netted $48 billion based on consolidated revenues of $428.8 billion in the third quarter.

The EIA attributes the reason for the record net income increases as follows: “The effects of higher refining margins, oil and natural gas prices and worldwide natural gas production overwhelmed lower worldwide oil production and refining throughput,” according to the report. Click here to read the entire report.

In other energy news, the EIA announced in its Short-Term Energy Outlook on Wednesday, Nov. 12, that it is sharply cutting its price forecasts for diesel and crude oil for 2009, citing lower world demand in a sluggish economy.

The predicted average price for on-highway diesel will be $2.73 in 2009, which is down $1.08 from its average in 2008.

EIA officials predict that the price of crude oil will average $101.45 per barrel for the remainder of this year, down 9 percent from $111.57, which was previously forecast. In trading on Thursday, crude oil was trading just under $57 per barrel.

The EIA also announced it was lowering its forecast to $63.50 per barrel for oil in 2009, which is down 43 percent from its previous forecast in October.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer