Robert J. Beck Economics Editor First quarter profits for Oil & Gas Journal's group of 22 large U.S. oil companies totaled $5.616 billion, down 26% from first quarter 1989. Results were mixed, with 14 companies posting a drop and eight showing an increase. None of the companies had a loss for the quarter this year, compared with one company, Ashland Inc., a year ago. A slide in earnings from chemical and U.S. refining operations caused the first quarter slump. Last year, record chemical earnings led the way as group profits jumped sharply from first quarter 1988. This year, higher crude prices squeezed ...

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