SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

May 30, 2011 08:16 ET

Big Oil's Surging Profits May Soon Be Cut

The Bedford Report Provides Analyst Research on Exxon Mobil & ConocoPhillips

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 30, 2011) - After an early May selloff, oil prices have stabilized over the last week as the US dollar is once again showing weakness. Oil, which is priced in US currency, tends to rise as the dollar falls as it makes crude barrels cheaper for investors holding foreign currency. While high oil prices have driven profits for Exxon and ConocoPhillips in recent quarters, there is concern that regulatory changes could shrink Big Oil's bottom line in the future. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Oil and Gas sector and provides research reports on Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

President Obama recently reiterated his interest in cutting tax incentives for the industry. With public anger over gas prices hitting Obama's popularity as he revs up his 2012 re-election bid, he pressed for rolling back $4 billion in "unwarranted tax subsidies" at a time of budget cuts in Washington. "When oil companies are making huge profits and you're struggling at the pump, and we're scouring the federal budget for spending we can afford to do without, these tax giveaways aren't right," Obama explained. "They aren't smart and we need to end them."

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Obama reiterated that he is committed to "safe and responsible oil production" in the US but said the money from oil industry tax subsidies would be better invested in developing alternative energy.

The Republican argument is that removal of tax incentives would make oil companies less likely to pursue new projects which in turn could lead to less supply and even higher prices. Republican Congressman James Lankford of Oklahoma argues that Americans were looking for leadership in combatting gas prices but that Obama "has only offered a tax increase on energy and the prospect of reduced supply."

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