COMPANY NEWS: Robust oil, gas prices fuel firms' 4Q earnings

The initial trickle of US and Canadian oil and gas companies' fourth quarter and yearend 2000 earnings shows an industry well on its way to bolstering its financial strength.Major integrated firms continued to realize gains through recent consolidations and joint-venture partnerships. Independent exploration and production companies, in particular, fared well during the latest quarter in a market that is still dominated by high oil and natural gas prices. And refiners and marketers, while faced with high acquisition costs for both natural gas and oil, enjoyed a strong supply-demand balance for refined products and fuels.Major oilsExxonMobil Corp. reported fourth quarter 2000 earnings ...

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