Source: Press TV
As oil companies rake in record profits in the first-quart earnings, the price of gas at the pump has risen to more than USD 4 per gallon in the United States.
In some states, the price of gasoline has risen to more than USD 4.50 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association's (AAA) Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
With the price of gas continuing to rise across the country, the Big Five oil companies -- ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips -- have announced record earnings totaling USD 34 billion within the first quarter of 2011, The Huffington Post reported.
This is a 42 percent increase in combined profits from last year. Exxon alone reportedly has gained USD 10.7 billion in profits this year, which is up 69 percent from 2010.
The price per barrel of oil is at a record high of USD 113, while producing it costs companies approximately USD 30. This, itself, has added to the companies' record profits.
Additionally, taxpayer subsidies for oil and gas companies are at around USD 4 billion a year.
Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs admitted that speculation on oil and gas stocks has contributed to the rise in the price of oil.
The American Petroleum Institute (API), however, claims that the companies' profits reflect their contributions to the US economy. “The US oil and natural gas industry's strong earnings signal growing strength in our economy,” API President and CEO Jack Gerard stated earlier this week.