War Profiteer of the Month: ExxonMobil

Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil is a multi-national American corporation and a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company. Formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil, ExxonMobil is the world's largest company by revenue, at $377.6 billion for the fiscal year of 2006. It is also the largest corporation by market capitalization, at $517.92 billion on July 20, 2007. The company is the largest of the six oil super majors with daily production of 6.5m boe (barrels of oil equivalent). ExxonMobil ranks first in the world in proven oil and gas reserves among corporate oil producers, though it is still eclipsed by several of the largest state petroleum producers. Exxon has been the subject of criticism for its business practices and environmental record.


The Exxon Mobil Corporation was formed in 1999 by the merger of two major oil companies, Exxon and Mobil. Both Exxon and Mobil were descendants of the John D. Rockefeller corporation, Standard Oil which was established in 1870.

In 1998, Exxon and Mobil signed a US$73.7 billion definitive agreement to merge and form a new company called ExxonMobil Corporation, the largest company on the planet. After shareholder and regulatory approvals, the merger was completed on November 30, 1999. The merger of Exxon and Mobil was unique in American history because it reunited the two largest companies of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil trust, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey/Exxon and Standard Oil Company of New York/Mobil, which had been forcibly separated by government order nearly a century earlier. As a result of the merger, it became largest merger in US corporate history.

In 2005, ExxonMobil's stock price surged in parallel with rising oil prices, surpassing General Electric as the largest corporation in the world in terms of market capitalization. At the end of 2005, it reported record profits of US $36 billion in annual income, up 42% from the previous year (the overall annual income was an all-time record for annual income by any business, and included $10 billion in the third quarter alone, also an all-time record income for a single quarter by any business). The company and the American Petroleum Institute, the oil and chemical industry's lobbying apparatus, tried to downplay its success in order to avoid consumer criticism by putting up page-long ads in major US newspapers, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, comparing oil industry profits to those of other large industries such as pharmaceuticals and banking

Environment and product safety

ExxonMobil has pumped more than $8 million into more than 40 think tanks; media outlets; and consumer, religious, and even civil rights groups that preach skepticism about climate change.

ExxonMobil and the war machinery

ExxonMobil 2005 profit for 35 billion dollars as it was said before was the biggest in its history, 7 billions of them came directly from the market conditions created by the invasion in Iraq and the rise of oil prices. In the same period it is said that because of oil prices 25 billion dollars were taken out of the US economy, meaning 25 billion dollars taken out from US people's pockets. During all this period ExxonMobil has been setting the oil prices for the market which other companies and distributors have had to keep up with.

ExxonMobil was the biggest seller of oil to the Pentagon between 1999 – 2005 so this means from the build up to the invasion to the invasion itself and the occupation of Iraq. Now BP and Shell are taking over as main oil providers to the Pentagon. ExxonMobil didn't only profit from the rise of oil prices but also by providing the oil to the military that's occupying Iraq to gain control of the oil for these private companies.

This tight relationship between ExxonMobil and the U.S. government characterizes that of other of the oil majors, as noted by James Paul in a report for Global Policy Forum:


“Just as governments like the U.S. and the U.K. need oil companies to secure fuel for their global war-making capacity, so the oil companies need their governments’ military power to secure control over global oilfields and transportation routes. It is no accident, then, that the world’s largest oil companies are located in the world’s most powerful countries…

“All producer companies want to gain control of …lucrative profits by fair means or foul. Company rivalry typically leads beyond market-based competition. As many studies show, companies and their sponsor governments do not shrink from backing dictatorial governments, using bribery and corruption, promoting civil violence and even resorting to war, to meet their commercial goals and best their competitors.”

ExxonMobil, Shell and BP and some of their smaller cousins see control of Iraqi oil as critical not only to their profits but their long-term survival as the world’s largest privately-held oil companies. They are also one of the main forces pushing for an oil law in Iraq, if the law is finally passed by parliament, it will mark a milestone in Iraqi history – a shift of Iraq’s massive reserves from public to private hands. Private companies will develop and profit from Iraq’s oil for 15-30 year periods with virtually no possibility for the Iraqi state to renegotiate terms and conditions.

The company between 2000 and 2006 gave more than 4 million dollars to Republican Candidates in the US Congress and they were one of main financial contributors to Bush's election campaign and as soon Bush became president, he announced that the US would pull out of international agreements to stop global warming – exactly the position that ExxonMobil was promoting.

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