Producers’ profits higher in fourth quarter, flat in 2007

The combined fourth-quarter 2007 (4Q07) earnings of a sample of US-based oil and gas producers and refiners increased from a year earlier. Many operators reported that production volumes climbed from a year earlier, but on the downstream side, refining margins were weak.For all of 2007, the group posted a small decline in earnings, as high operating costs weighed on a majority of the companies’ profits.A group of service and supply firms reported a 98% increase in 4Q07 earnings compared with the fourth quarter of 2006, while revenues were up 19%. This sample, which includes drillers, suppliers, and engineering firms, reported a combined 69% surge in 2007 earnings compared with 2006 ...

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