The Big 5 Oil Companies: Profits vs Taxes

All your money, I will take from youIn Oil Company Profits we talked about Exxon’s profits per gallon — we also brushed on the amount of taxes that Exxon pays and highlighted the fact that taxes account for a significant larger portion of what we pay at the pump than Exxon’s profits.

The Grouchy Old Cripple (warning, an R-rated site — don’t go there at work or while the kids are watching) let’s people know that Bernie Sanders is advocating additional taxes on oil companies.

The five largest oil companies in this country have made $600 billion in profits since George W. Bush became president. Do we need a windfall profits tax? You bet we do. — Bernie Sanders (Ind-VT)

Instead of researching back to 2001 when George W. Bush took office (my DSL link is painfully slow for some reason), I only researched back to 2003 for the five largest oil companies. There is a debate on which oil companies are really the largest; the ones that I used are: Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum (BP)1, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips.

Bottom Line

The bottom line, is that from 2003 to 2007, the five biggest oil companies made 499,617 million dollars in profit. During that same period, the five biggest oil companies paid 1,343,804 million dollars in taxes. The following chart compares the big 5 oil companies profits versus the taxes they paid from 2003 to 2007.

The financial information was taken from the annual reports or Financial and Operation reports for the various companies involved and is reported in millions of dollars.

2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Exxon profits 40,610 39,500 36,130 25,330 21,510
income tax 29,864 27,902 23,302 15,911 11,006
sales based 31,728 30,381 30,742 27,263 23,855
other taxes & duties 40,953 39,203 41,554 40,954 37,645
total tax 102,545 97,486 95,598 84,128 72,506
ConocoPhillips profits 11,891 15,550 13,529 8,129 4,735
income tax 11,381 12,783 9,907 6,262 3,744
other taxes & duties 18,990 18,187 18,356 17,487 14,679
total tax 30,371 30,970 28,263 23,749 18,423
Royal Dutch Shell profits 32,926 26,311 26,261 19,257 12,408
income tax 18,650 18,317 17,999 12,168 9,364
sales, excise, etc 78,680 70929 72,277 72,370 65,527
other taxes & duties 9,733 6,021 8,782 9,058 5,927
total tax 107,063 95,267 99,058 93,596 80,818
Chevron profits 18,688 17,138 14,099 13,328 7,320
Non-income tax 22,266 20,883 20,782 19,818 17,901
income tax 13,479 14,838 11,098 7,517 5,294
total tax 54,433 52,859 45,979 40,663 30,515
British Petroleum profits 21,169 22,286 22,632 17,262 12,618
production taxes 4,195 3,957 2,967 2,207 1,810
income tax 10,442 12,331 9,473 7,082 5,050
total tax 14,637 16,288 12,440 9,289 6,860

Conclusion

Gas prices are too high and the government is taking too much in taxes from gasoline as it is. If congress were honest (yes, I know how ridiculous that is), they would realize that any taxes levied against the oil companies are just going to be paid by us at the pumps.

1I had trouble searching the BP figures — never finding the “non-income taxes” that the others list (though I did find “production taxes” which appears significantly lower than the others “non-income taxes”).

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