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Big Oil Expected To Have Best Year Since 2008

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(credit: istock.com)

(credit: istock.com)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Oil companies should report a windfall for the first quarter following a swift rise in oil prices. The industry seems set for its best year since 2008.

Analysts expect Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips to report a combined $18.2 billion in first-quarter earnings over the next three days. That’s a 40-percent increase from a year ago and just short of the $20.2 billion they earned in the first quarter of 2008.

Bigger profits will certainly benefit oil company shareholders, including millions of people owning 401(k)s and pension plans. But the increased cost of oil also means rising prices for gasoline, food, airline tickets, shipping and other things.

Gasoline rose more than 53 cents per gallon from January to March as oil increased from $91 to $107 per barrel.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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