Yesterday saw BP join Shell and Exxon in reporting record profits of $19.3bn (£11bn).
What the three company results highlight is the fundamental flaw of how they are valued by city investors. As both Shell and BP posted record profits their share price actually went down as the profits were not as large as some had expected.
But the real reason that city investors were disappointed is that they felt that both BP and Shell had underperformed in key areas. Shell had not replaced as much reserves as the city analysts had hoped. BP also disappointed mainly through its refining operations. To
A sustainable society must depend upon renewable resources,
which oil cannot be. It must recycle nonrenewable resources,
and burned oil cannot be recycled. It needs to restore the base
of renewable resources — our forests, soils, cities and human
The news that ExxonMobil has just posted the highest profits in history should bring down to earth those congenital optimists who, for the last 20 years or so, have been claiming that the best way to do well is to do good. ExxonMobil got their record-breaking billions the old fashioned way: through high oil prices.
Oil giant Exxon Mobil yesterday reported the biggest profit in corporate history- some $36.1bn (£20bn) after tax for 2005.
The profit was on the back of soaring oil prices. The company's turnover - some $371bn - would make it the 17th biggest economy, just behind Russia but ahead of Taiwan or Sweden.
The obscene profit will be ammunition to those people who think there should be a wind-fall tax on big oil earnings at the moment. What do you think?
More on that story of Britain's stagnated climate change strategy. The Guardian reports how the strategy has "been paralysed for seven months by a dispute between two Whitehall departments."
So yesterday we find out that Blair says climate change is worse than previously thought - the greatest threat facing humanity. Today we read about the reality of government. The Liberal Democrat environment spokesman, Norman Baker, puts it quite nicely: "I fear there are some in government, especially in the DTI [Department of Trade and Industry] and in No 10, that are quite happy to postpone decisions on climate change. The longer
Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair has admitted that climate change could be much more serious than previously thought in a new government report on global warming published today. The report is a major update to a scientific conference held in Exeter last year by the British government on the subject.
Whilst everyone else gets excited about the potential for renewable energy, the Chief Executive of Shell, Jeroen Van Der Veer shows a remarkable lack of foresight or imagination. Writing in the Financial Times this week, Van Der Veer outlined his “vision for meeting energy needs beyond oil”.
Let’s move on from the last blog about the political will being needed to make technological change. Two reports on two different continents show how we could reduce our oil dependency now, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions given political will and economic investment.
Writing in Monday's Financial Times, James Woolsey, the head of the CIA from 1993 to 1995 and Robert McFarlane, who was Ronald Reagan's national security adviser, argued that “America must end its dependence on oil”.
Dr. Jeremy Leggett on peak oil in the UK Independent. Leggett, trained as petroleum geologist, advisor to Greenpeace for a long time, has a knack for being ahead of his time. Now he's on peak oil, and its pretty compelling stuff. Click here to download a pdf version of his article.