Chron.com - 13/5/2006
Oil executives want consumers to know that financial markets, not individual companies, determine the price of gasoline at the pump.
That's among the key conclusions of a survey of 538 financial executives of oil and natural gas companies released Friday by KPMG, a global audit, tax and advisory firm.
"Oil and gas executives are facing one of the most challenging environments they've seen in decades when releasing earnings," said Bill Kimble, head of industrial markets for KPMG. "The marketplace perceives that oil and gas companies have significant influence on the price of gas at the pump."
Those perceptions have prompted some in Congress to call for additional taxation of profits made in the United States by oil and natural gas companies through the Windfall Profits Rebate Act of 2005.
If that measure passes, 45 percent of the survey respondents said their companies would "increase investment outside" the United States.
"Basically, they're saying, 'I will take my business elsewhere,' " Kimble said.
KPMG also reported that 69 percent of those responding said their companies would increase spending on oil and gas exploration and production by more than 10 percent during 2006.
Two years ago, 20 percent responded the same way.
Also, 21 percent said they expect their companies to be involved in a merger or acquisition over the next year. That's down from 28 percent that expected so during 2005.
Survey results will be discussed at KPMG's fourth annual global energy conference, which will be held May 23 and 24 at the Intercontinental Hotel in the Galleria area.