Big Oil: Booming Profits, Climbing Costs

Oil companies are raking it inand spending it, too

Oil companies' financial results look great this year, thanks to high prices. But those healthy profits are masking costs that keep getting worse. A raft of companies trotted out stunning earnings in late July for the three-month period ended in June. Some increased their multibillion profits by more than 30% year over year; the Irving (Tex.) oil major Exxon Mobil (XOM), for example, announced on July 27 that it had a record net income of $10.36 billion during the second quarter, up from $7.64 billion during the same period of 2005.

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