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27

Exxon, Shell to Announce Profits Surge

"We had thought that we'd never see another year like 2006 for oil company profits..."

Global oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc will probably announce their second-quarter profit gains.

Exxon Mobil, the world's biggest company by market value, will probably report earnings per share climbed to $1.87, or more than $10 billion, from $1.72, based on the average of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Shell may say profit excluding one-time items rose 2.3 percent to $6.70 billion, according to the median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. BP's earnings likely fell 17 percent to $5.06 billion, the survey showed.

"We had thought that we'd never see another year like 2006 for oil company profits, but finally 2007 is also shaping up to be a very good year,'' said Antoine Leurent, an analyst with KBC Securities in Paris.

"We are back to record oil prices. We have supply problems from refining bottlenecks in the U.S., and a refusal of OPEC to raise its production.''