Earnings reports for oil and related industries have been less than appealing so far. On the other hand, the success of bringing new oil and gas production on line has softened the landing for related exchange traded funds (ETFs).

Many major U.S. oil companies have not been exempt from the effects of the recession, even after posting some of their largest profits during the last boom. The slump in demand for oil and natural gas commodities has earnings reports for heavyweights such as Chevron Corp. (CVX) missing expectations. They posted their lowest quarterly profit in six years, says Angel Ramon for The Wall Street Journal. Texas giant Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) recorded its lowest profit since 2003.

Big oil is not disappearing, though. In fact, the industry is moving ahead with in-depth capital projects in the hopes that energy demand will recover as the broader economy does. Jean Scheid for The Examiner reports that there are several things the general public is not aware of when it comes to the oil industry. These facts were noted in an episode of 20/20 with Charles Gibson:

    • Americans consume 400 million gallons of oil per day.
    • Oil companies do not own gas stations; they do own the stations where large trucks fill up before delivering fuel to gas stations, however.
    • All gas is created equal. Chevron, 76, or Arco, it doesn’t matter – gas is gas. This is federally regulated.
    • Oil industry regulation has been promised by many presidents, so believe it when you see it.
    • As far back as 1978, the U.S. government knew our oil demand was exceeding the supply.
    • The average gas station owner only makes a 10-cent profit on fuel sales. To stay in business, they need to sell snacks, sodas and other sundries.
      • iShares Dow Jones U.S. Energy (IYE): up 7.2% year-to-date; Chevron, 12.6%; Exxon, 24.6%

      For more stories about oil, visit our oil category.

      The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

      Subscribe to our free daily newsletters!
      Please enter your email address to subscribe to ETF Trends' newsletters featuring latest news and educational events.