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Stossel Guest: In Terms Of Profit, "Oil And Gas Companies Actually Don't Do All That Well"

May 31, 2012 11:02 pm ET

From the May 31 edition of Fox Business' Stossel:

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Previously:

Fox Downplays Huge Profits Of Big Oil

ExxonMobil Finds A Home At Fox News

Fox Uses Suspect Statistic To Downplay Oil Company Profits

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    • Author by Bongo Fury (May 31, 2012 11:07 pm ET)
      14  
      Now that I know this, I'm not going to srart my own oil company. Who is this dood?
      Report Abuse
      • Author by wookie (June 01, 2012 12:59 pm ET)
        3  
        Oddly enough these struggling companies still earn enough to paid politicians and pundits to spout their talking points.
        Report Abuse
    • Author by danielsangeo (May 31, 2012 11:16 pm ET)
      13  
      Dispelling myths by telling myths, courtesy of Fox Business.

      This figure is in regards to "finished product" (i.e., the gasoline that comes out of the gas pump). But "finished product" isn't the only thing the oil companies do. This information is suspiciously missing from the above "myth dispelling".
      Report Abuse
      • Author by Egbert Sousť (June 01, 2012 11:17 am ET)
        2  
        1. The first slide says that the profit of the "average" manufacturing company is 8.3%, while that of the "average" oil and gas company is 6.2%. As the slide says, that's for the last quarter of 2011. Ace investigative reporter, fearless myth-buster and hard-hitting toady Stossel doesn't ask:
        - What the percent profit of the average oil and gas company is for all of 2011, for the last fiscal quarters, or for the first quarter of 2012.
        - Who all meets the criteria of "average oil and gas company". Does it include, say, a company which produces a mere 200 barrels a week? A company which has only so-called under producing wells? The much hammered BP? Petroleum pipelines, contract drillers, etc.?
        - Assuming "average oil and gas company" means a company that is in both the natural gas and oil business, what would the profit percentage be if natural gas were excluded from the company's financials? I don't know about you, but I don't go to the pump to get my aged sedan filled with high test methane. The price of natural gas has plummeted in the last year due to a glut caused by shale drilling. T. Boone recently got out of the natural gas biz because, as he explained in an NPR interview last week, there is no money to be made.

        2. Note to Fox graphics department: if one reads the slide as written, it states the profit of the average oil and gas company, not the average profit of oil and gas companies. Or maybe that's what you intended, you sly little devils. Oh, what imps!

        3. Stossel, ever the upright and frank journalist, doesn't mention to viewers the source of the 6.2% profit figure. The source is hidden in the first slide. Looky. In the lower right hand corner is the tiny, tiny, tiny acronym API. Why gosh, it's the completely disinterested and above board American Petroleum Institute, a name you can trust for not massaging data about its own industry. I kid.

        4. Subject: John Stossel, master of sleight of hand. 6.2%, 6.2%, it's all relative. But not relevant. The undefined "average" oil and gas company? Wrong subject. This is from an article defending oil and gas company profits. Your text to link here...
        Report Abuse
      • Author by chazmanr (June 01, 2012 12:52 pm ET)
        1  
        And oil companies generally don't make their profit off of the refined product. Gasoline stations represent a hint of truth (only a hint) to this liars assertion. Owning a gas station is not a profitable business. Most stations make about $0.05 to $0.08/gallon in profit. That is why they sell so much other crap in gas stations now that most don't offer repair services.
        Report Abuse
    • Author by Quicksilver M.S (May 31, 2012 11:34 pm ET)
      9  
      Stossel Guest:
      "In Terms Of Profit, "Oil And Gas Companies Actually Don't Do All That Well""

      Answer !
      The Federal Government and We the Hard Earning TAX PAYER , Need to Subsidize the Oil Companies .
      So that We, the Tax Paying American can Pay Less at the Pump !

      Stossel ? How can I pay more in TAXES ? To have Big Oil Reap My Environment , so big Oil can Earn a decent Wage ?
      Report Abuse
      • Author by Nosmo King (June 01, 2012 10:57 am ET)
        2  
        But, but BIG OIL is people too.
        Report Abuse
      • Author by shaggles (June 01, 2012 11:43 am ET)
           
        "Stossel ? How can I pay more in TAXES ? To have Big Oil Reap My Environment , so big Oil can Earn a decent Wage ?"

        That sounds like socialism. Is Stossel pro-socialism now?
        Report Abuse
    • Author by clearstate (May 31, 2012 11:47 pm ET)
      16  
      If they're not profitable companies, then what the $#@$ are they doing?
      Report Abuse
      • Author by mary59 (May 31, 2012 11:54 pm ET)
        12  
        They hope to earn enough money to buy the sun. The Roberts' Court is planning to rule that they have a right to it, being people and all.
        Report Abuse
    • Author by oscar the grouch (May 31, 2012 11:51 pm ET)
      2 20
      In terms of % of sales, the profit margin lags behind industries like software, etc (and when are those demonized as oil is?). In terms of $$$$ only the number is huge, primarily because of the scale of the product being handled. (millions of barrels of product vs thousands of copies of a software program, for example). This make big oil the boogeyman and we should all shun them (as many of us shun certain software programs for shareware).
      Report Abuse
      • Author by mary59 (May 31, 2012 11:56 pm ET)
        13  
        So you really want an answer to that?
        Report Abuse
      • Author by danielsangeo (June 01, 2012 12:04 am ET)
        16  
        Do let me know when software industries bilge out toxic gases that warms the Earth. kthx.

        Also, are you only referring to finished product?
        Report Abuse
      • Author by Brian Griffith (June 01, 2012 12:09 am ET)
        14  
        So you're just going to parrot to us what the Stossel guest said. Helpful of you!
        Report Abuse
      • Author by steeve (June 01, 2012 3:22 am ET)
        28  
        "when are those demonized as oil is"

        Now it's proven. You really think we hate rich people just for being rich.

        Hint: Scrooge didn't become poor at the end of that story, he stopped being a dick.
        Report Abuse
        • Author by danielsangeo (June 01, 2012 4:02 am ET)
          10  
          Couldn't have said it better myself. And I don't have anything to add.
          Report Abuse
        • Author by CoolSlaw (June 01, 2012 10:58 am ET)
          5  
          Agreed! Great response by steeve, and I do have one thing to add.

          A society that blames it's poorest, weakest, and least powerful is a society in decline trying to cover the failures of it's leaders.

          Now more then ever in America, a small number of wealthy individuals control more or our nation's wealth and hold more influence over legislation and media then at any other time.

          Are you going to blame the poor? The working class? Minorities? College students? Teachers?

          Seems like these Fox news talking heads want to blame everybody EXCEPT those who directly wield the most influence over our economy and legislators.
          Report Abuse
          • Author by steeve (June 01, 2012 4:22 pm ET)
               
            "A society that blames its poorest, weakest, and least powerful"

            Or, put another way, a society that blames its most numerous.

            For example, you can gripe about the housing meltdown in two ways:

            "Those people who tried to live outside their means need better morals"
            "The leaders of those 5 or 6 companies that broke everything should be watched and accountable"

            Which of those 2 gripes is something that we can trivially do something about? Blaming something immobile reflects a desire to not fix the problem.
            Report Abuse
        • Author by n'est-ce pas (June 01, 2012 11:30 am ET)
          6  
          Apropos of "Scrooge didn't become poor at the end of that story, he stopped being a dick," anyone else noticing a certain Dickensian flavor to life in America today? I think Hollywood needs to start churning out wide release features of modern day BLEAK HOUSE and OLIVER TWIST. Remind people that it's ALWAYS us against the rich and the rich are winning.
          Report Abuse
          • Author by highliter (June 02, 2012 12:01 pm ET)
              1
            Remind people that it's ALWAYS us against the rich and the rich are winning.


            and steeve wonder why we accuse the left of hating the rich.
            Report Abuse
            • Author by Deluded (June 03, 2012 8:47 pm ET)
                 
              It's what the rich DO that justifies resentment against them.

              Maybe you should look that up.
              Report Abuse
      • Author by shaggles (June 01, 2012 1:11 pm ET)
          1
        Wow. Not quite sure why you got all those thumbs down. You have to spend money to make money though. Big oil spends a lot of money (a huge amount of it has nothing to do with actual production or even exploration though.)
        Report Abuse
    • Author by draftedin68 (June 01, 2012 12:12 am ET)
      8  

      FOX NEWS ... Up-Is-Down-R-Us

      Report Abuse
    • Author by blk-in-alabam (June 01, 2012 12:27 am ET)
      8  
      John Stossel is as real as professional wrestling.............Oil companies stock value is determined by their proven reserves.....Does this mean that when they sell oil they own,or have under contract as their proven reserves for $2.50 per gallon at the well head that they only make a couple of pennies per gallon on oil they own??.....Do people,and the government make more money per gallon of oil than the oil companies make at the well head????.......Maybe in the world of creative business accounting,yes...In the real business world no................................Oil companies as an industry make more money than any industry on Earth..They brag about it and back it up with their multi billion dollar quarterly profit reports............Oil companies never miss the small change paid to people like John Stossel to cry broke for them
      Report Abuse
    • Author by wolf kotenberg (June 01, 2012 12:46 am ET)
      8  
      that depends on which books the IRS gets to see. There is always more than one book. There is a book that unions get to see during negotiations and there are books shareholders get to see during shareholder meetings.
      Report Abuse
    • Author by chibitenshi (June 01, 2012 1:17 am ET)
      6  
      Stossel Guest: In Terms Of Profit, "Oil And Gas Companies Actually Don't Do All That Well"


      That statement is full of so much bull, I can see it coming out of my computer screen...
      Report Abuse
    • Author by pete592 (June 01, 2012 2:32 am ET)
      7  
      I thought the new and improved Fox Business was no longer supposed to be a carbon copy of Fox News.
      Report Abuse
    • Author by Maimonides 03 (June 01, 2012 5:56 am ET)
      13  
      This false meme has been around for a few years. When you look at big oil, they will argue they only make so much per/gallon at the pump. What they fail to tell you is that they made money at each stage from point of origin to each step down river. The money at the pump is simply icing on the cake. Oil companies also receive corporate welfare, the ability to pollute and not clean up and the ability to MANIPULATE the prices of their products.

      In 2009, Exxon made $30.5 billion in profits. They generated about #386 billion in revenue. They have seen their revenues and profits rise almsot every year for 12 years.It should be pointed out this does not include all the " paper companies" used to avoid paying taxes and to generate everrn more profit.

      Imagine the drug supply chain being owned by one person, each step from manufaturing to distribution to the point of consumption makes a profit for the cartel. Oil is the same, Exxon gets money to pull the oil out, they get money to move it, they get one to refine it, they money to mnove it to market and money at the pump.

      Mr Stossel is using deceptive reporting and arguement to perpetuate a false meme. To claim the Oil companies don't make that much money at the pump is hiding the fast that they are the richest companies in the world. The most profitable companies in the world.

      There is no place for broken ideas in the debate anymore, it should be pointed out and that person should now be suspect when reporting.
      Report Abuse
      • Author by danielsangeo (June 01, 2012 6:29 am ET)
        10  
        Drug supply chain has a bit of negative connotations due to legal and illegal drugs.

        I think of it more like paper production.

        Stage 1: Paper company owns forest.
        Stage 2: Paper company makes profit on the cutting down of some trees to make paper.
        Stage 3: Paper company makes profit on transporting logs to mill.
        Stage 4: Paper company own mill, makes profit on processing of logs into paper.
        Stage 5: Paper company makes profit transporting paper to stores.
        Stage 6: Paper company owns stores, makes profit selling paper to consumers.
        Stage 7: John Stossel has guest from paper company to say that the amount of profit they make at Stage 6 really isn't that much.
        Stage 8: Neocon idiots blast liberals and Democrats for "demonizing" paper company profits (which, of course, "isn't that much".)
        Report Abuse
        • Author by blk-in-alabam (June 01, 2012 8:06 am ET)
          9  
          Paper company gets fake bio-fuel tax credit that pays them more than they can sell the paper produced...Paper company makes paper to get the tax credit,puts produced paper in warehouses

          Koch industries USA's largest paper company is very mad because the healthcare derailed this gravy train
          Report Abuse
        • Author by Andy Kreiss (June 01, 2012 12:57 pm ET)
          4  
          Great breakdown, Daniel. There's another factor, that Oscar the Grouch accidentally brought up above ( I mean, he fell for it), and that's comparing a commodity that's a necessity, a constant expense like gasoline, to elective luxury items.

          Oscar uses software above ( probably got it from some oil company supported site), but I've seen this apples to oranges thing done with TV and other electronics, comparing profit margins.

          I think I last bought a TV more than five years ago, maybe ten. What I spent on that TV is about what I spend on fuel in an average month. That's 12 tv's a month, 120 over the decade.And I don't get to wait for a sale, or decide if I buy that "TV" or not.

          I think the GOP counts on people not being able to understand how different profit margins can be supported based on volume.
          Report Abuse
        • Author by Maimonides 03 (June 01, 2012 4:05 pm ET)
             
          I can only go with what I know!!!
          Report Abuse
    • Author by teh.stoopid.lib (June 01, 2012 6:59 am ET)
      9  
      Stossel is the same guy that keeps insisting that poor people aren't really all that poor too. He really should have his perspective checked.
      Report Abuse
      • Author by danielsangeo (June 01, 2012 7:36 am ET)
        7  
        There is a movie by Mel Brooks (it's not typical Mel Brooks' fare) called "Life Stinks" about a haughty CEO named Goddard Bolt who makes a bet that he couldn't survive 30 days on the street as a homeless man. So, he's stripped of his nice clothes (and "stitched-in" toupee) and is dumped on the streets where he has to live for 30 days.

        He quickly learns that being poor is not all it's cracked up to be.

        Stossel and people like him should take a cue from Goddard Bolt. Make them live in the projects and having minimum wage part time jobs and see how long they can survive before giving up.
        Report Abuse
        • Author by teh.stoopid.lib (June 01, 2012 8:08 am ET)
          7  
          I honestly don't think they would last 10 minutes and I certainly don't think they would have a miraculous change of heart a la Scrooge (love steeve's succinct summary of the story above!). I think they would just thank gawd for loving them enough to make them rich, pat themselves on the back for being such 'hard workers' and continue to hate the lazy good fer nuthin' bums that don't have the chutzpah and work ethic the rich are obviously blessed with. I may be too cynical but I really think the entire lesson would be completely lost on them.
          Report Abuse
          • Author by danielsangeo (June 01, 2012 8:24 am ET)
            5  
            Have you read "In Defense of Scrooge" by Michael Levin? It's bile-inducing.
            Report Abuse
            • Author by teh.stoopid.lib (June 01, 2012 8:33 am ET)
              7  
              Yeesh, ya know, I haven't. I think I should just to be literate regarding other world views but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it. I can't even get my mind past the title and the whole concept of it.
              Report Abuse
              • Author by danielsangeo (June 01, 2012 8:41 am ET)
                9  
                Basic premise is that Scrooge had a point and, if Bob Cratchit didn't like what Scrooge was doing, Bob could find another job.

                ...I'll say that again. "Bob could find another job."

                If that doesn't tell you their world view...


                Oh, and it's Bob Cratchit's fault that Tiny Tim is ill. He shouldn't have had so many babies if he knew he couldn't afford to take care of them. And those workhouses? Of COURSE they're not "cheery" (that's the adjective Levin used) because otherwise, they would not work.

                Okay, I need to stop now before I throw up.
                Report Abuse
    • Author by bintx (June 01, 2012 8:52 am ET)
      3  
      Liar.
      Report Abuse
    • Author by foole (June 01, 2012 9:24 am ET)
      8  
      These are not the profitable oil companies you are looking for.
      Report Abuse
    • Author by Imbecile (June 01, 2012 10:48 am ET)
      6  
      What I find amazing is how the Republicans, through Fox News, have been able to sell the narrative that corporations raking in more than $30 billion a year in profit aren't doing well, while people making less than $10,000 a year are living high on the hog.

      I know there are people out there gullible enough to swallow that narrative, but what I want to know is why do they swallow it?

      Report Abuse
      • Author by foole (June 01, 2012 11:10 am ET)
        5  
        I know and agree with the "one lottery ticket away from being a millionaire" theory, but it really is staggering that the right wing is capable of getting sooooo many people to go against their own best interests. I would never in my life had guessed so many people could be so heavily influenced by greed. Guess that's how it earned it's place on the 7 deadly sins list.
        Report Abuse
      • Author by foghornleghorn (June 01, 2012 11:21 am ET)
        4  
        It's cognitive dissonance. Too many ignorant people think THEY deserve their welfare/food stamps/social security/medicare, but other people who get the same benefits are leeches on society.

        "Keep the government out of my Medicare!!!" quoth the teabagging lady.
        Report Abuse
        • Author by Imbecile (June 01, 2012 12:14 pm ET)
          5  
          It's amazing to me. I am engaged in a "discussion" with a teabagger who likes the to think that the poor deserve their lot in life because of the choices they've made, while his inability to earn more money in his job is Obama's fault.

          I called him on it, and asked why the poor have only themselves to blame while it's someone else's fault that he doesn't earn more money, and the reply I got was nearly unintelligible due to the anger at my audacity for questioning him.

          I was even told I had no right to ask him that question.

          Where does that mentality come from? I mean, it's not just the cognitive dissonance, it's the visceral anger that accompanies it that I find so perplexing.
          Report Abuse
          • Author by n'est-ce pas (June 01, 2012 12:47 pm ET)
            4  
            Read: Tea and Crackers

            When teabaggers say "the poor," what they mean is the blahs.
            Report Abuse
            • Author by Imbecile (June 01, 2012 12:58 pm ET)
              3  
              You mean the anti-war government nig--uhh, the--uhh, f--, the, uhh, America...?
              Report Abuse
            • Author by mjh (June 01, 2012 3:14 pm ET)
              2  
              "Where does that mentality come from? I mean, it's not just the cognitive dissonance, it's the visceral anger that accompanies it that I find so perplexing."


              Read: Tea and Crackers

              When teabaggers say "the poor," what they mean is the blahs.



              Great article, n'est.

              As Taibbi makes abundantly clear, the teabaggers are nothing more than a bunch of overgrown two-year-olds who stamped their feet and threw a tantrum the moment the blah guy with the funny name got in the White House.

              And, as is usually the case with two-year-olds, the tantrum subsided -- primarily due to the Kochsucker Bros. funding for teabagger events drying up {they're focused on getting their fellow one percenter Mittens Romney in office} . . .

              Report Abuse
              • Author by n'est-ce pas (June 01, 2012 4:03 pm ET)
                1  
                Well, the great dying off of most of those obesity scooter riders probably didn't hurt any....
                Report Abuse
            • Author by bilbo_dies (June 01, 2012 9:14 pm ET)
                 
              "But," I protest, "you live off the government. And have been your whole life!"

              I love that line. I wonder if Talibi had actually run into lowlighter while he was on vacation. He's been living off the government dole most of his life.
              Report Abuse
          • Author by shaggles (June 01, 2012 1:03 pm ET)
            4  
            HA! I've gotten the "how dare you/don't you dare compare me" response before. It's pretty funny.
            Report Abuse
            • Author by Imbecile (June 01, 2012 1:19 pm ET)
              3  
              I love the attitude that they have that no one has the right to question them. And the best part is that they're so serious about it, too.
              Report Abuse
    • Author by mjh (June 01, 2012 11:18 am ET)
      3  
      Stossel Guest: In Terms Of Profit, "Oil And Gas Companies Actually Don't Do All That Well"


      Sure, dude. And cold weather is proof global warming is a myth.

      And cutting taxes increases revenue.

      And it's only fair the poor should pay more in taxes than the one percent.

      Welcome to Planet Wingnut! Enjoy your stay!


      Report Abuse
    • Author by magnolialover (June 01, 2012 11:20 am ET)
      1  
      So... Let me get this straight. BILLIONS (with a "B") in profit per quarter is "not doing so well"?

      Amazing the cognitive dissonance these folks have in regards to protecting their corporate overlords.
      Report Abuse
      • Author by bilbo_dies (June 01, 2012 9:18 pm ET)
           
        Yes but; imagine how much they could make if they had a net profit margin of 20%.
        Report Abuse
    • Author by historygeek001 (June 01, 2012 11:29 am ET)
      2  
      WTF? What do you think good profits are, dumb@$$??
      Report Abuse
    • Author by shaggles (June 01, 2012 11:45 am ET)
      2  
      If they are not doing that well then why aren't these clowns advocating for letting the market decide? Survival of the fittest. Free Market Darwinism.
      Report Abuse
    • Author by NiceguyEddie (June 01, 2012 12:12 pm ET)
      3  
      This is so stupid. While it's true that their margins are thinner than one might initally believe... so what? The bottome line? $35 BILLION in ExxonMobil alone last year? More than any other comapny, EVER?

      A lot of accounting assumptions go into calculating a profit margin. A lot of depreciation, and overhead allocation and deffered this or that... things that may or may not represent REAL MONEY changing hands. And fine... those same accounting rules apply to the reporting of profits as well. BUT: $35 Billion Dollars is still $35 Billion Dollars. And at the end of the fiscal day, that still more money than any other company has ever made in a single year, EVER.

      ------------------------------
      IMHO
      UTOPIA
      Report Abuse
      • Author by shaggles (June 01, 2012 12:33 pm ET)
        2  
        I bet they could improve that profit margin if they stopped spend so much on lobbying.
        Report Abuse
        • Author by steeve (June 01, 2012 4:31 pm ET)
          1  
          No, the government is dirt cheap. The most shocking part of any campaign finance scandal is how little money is involved.
          Report Abuse
    • Author by chazmanr (June 01, 2012 12:30 pm ET)
      3  
      WHAT?!!!! Exxon/Mobil is the most profitable company in the WORLD!
      Report Abuse
    • Author by WarrenProject (June 01, 2012 2:34 pm ET)
      2  
      Havent they had record profits almost every quarter for the past 10 years or so?

      Or are they just paying their CEO's so much that it reduces their 'profits'?


      AND... Oil prices are the lowest so far this year and most of last year and yet the price at the pump is higher.
      Report Abuse
    • Author by billcnc (June 02, 2012 12:19 pm ET)
         
      Not doing all that well????

      Hahaha

      It's only the MOST PROFITABLE business EVER in the history of this planet!
      Report Abuse
    • Author by garyd552 (June 03, 2012 7:16 am ET)
         
      Heck, 104 million a day would pi** me off too if I had paid monkeys like the republican party and Fox news to make sure I made more.
      Report Abuse

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