From Socialist Voice, April 2005

The great oil rip-off

Recently two of the world’s giant oil corporations announced record profits. Dutch Shell reported a net income for 2004 of €18.5 billion—an increase of 48 per cent over 2003, made possible by record oil prices, increased refining margins, and a recovery in the chemical industries. Shell shareholders will get approximately €10 billion in dividends in 2005.
     Despite this staggering increase in profits, Shell is in trouble, because it has had to make public the fact that it had seriously overstated its known reserves of oil and gas. It has had to announce that it has cut its reserves by another 10 per cent—the equivalent of 1.4 billion barrels. British Petroleum’s accounts for 2004 stated that shareholders would be benefiting from a pay-out of more than $13.2 billion. Who ever believed that war wasn’t good for business? One can only ask what price is paid by the peoples of the countries from which this valuable natural resource was taken.
     To us, the increased profits for the giant oil corporations mean an increase in the ESB bill, in the cost of transport, both public and road haulage, or the price of petrol at the petrol station. Think what the cost is to the tens of millions of people now living in dire poverty, both in Ireland and, more importantly, in countries of the majority world!

Home page  >  Publications  >  Socialist Voice  >  April 2005  >  The great oil rip-off
Baile  >  Foilseacháin  >  Socialist Voice  >  Aibreán 2005  >  The great oil rip-off