Sunday, September 13, 2009

Who Profits When You Buy Gas?

How much money does the oil company make per gallon of gas sold? Let’s find out.

For this calculation I am using ExxonMobil, since I have their 2008 annual report sitting on my desktop at the moment. In 2008, ExxonMobil had total revenues of $477.36 billion. Of that, they paid $36.53 billion in taxes (≈7.65%) and had net profits of $45.22 billion (≈9.47% margin). Using these figures, we’ll calculate the profit on the average gallon of gas sold in Washington State assuming the sale cost is $2.999 per gallon.

Assuming we buy one gallon of gas for $2.999 at an ExxonMobil gas station:

18.4¢ is paid to the Federal government in fuel taxes
37.5¢ is paid to the State of Washington in fuel taxes
I do not believe we pay sales tax on top of the fuel tax (I could be wrong), and I am assuming no additional, local taxes are added to the bill.

After these taxes are subtracted from the original $2.999 sale, ExxonMobil keeps $2.44 per gallon. They then pay an average of $0.187 in state and federal taxes on that revenue, the 7.65% calculated above. ExxonMobil will spend $2.253 per gallon in operating expenses; drilling or buying crude oil, refining the oil into gasoline, transporting to the gas station, operating the gas station, etc. That leaves the 9.47% margin calculated above, or $0.231 per gallon.

When the governments make more than three times as much per gallon of gas as the oil company does, I think we have a problem. The government isn’t doing the work, yet they are receiving the most financial benefit. I see a problem that must be corrected. And the inmates that are currently running the asylum think the "evil" oil companies aren't paying their fair share? What is "their fair share"?

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