Third-quarter 2009 earnings fall sharply from 2008 peaks

Lower oil and natural gas prices and depressed refining margins resulted in a sharp reduction in the third-quarter 2009 earnings of oil and gas producers and refiners.The combined earnings of three samples of companies were down across the board for the third quarter and first 9 months of 2009. OGJ looked at groups of US-based oil and gas producers, Canadian producers and pipeline operators, and service and supply firms, each of which posted declines as compared to the year-earlier periods.In the third quarter of 2009, the front-month futures price of oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange averaged $68.25/bbl, down from $118.22/bbl in the corresponding 2008 period. Meanwhile, gas futures...

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