A motorist pumps gasoline into his car at a Shell in San Rafael, Calif.
A motorist pumps gasoline into his car at a Shell in San Rafael, Calif. - 
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Stacey Vanek-Smith: Worries of a global recession have pushed the price of oil down to $88 a barrel. Just a few months ago you may remember, a barrel of crude cost $147. Oil companies had been raking in record profits, but things could look pretty different. Chevron, for instance, announces third-quarter earnings today. What can we expect from big oil companies like that? Ashley Milne-Tyte takes a look.

Ashley Milne-Tyte: Thanks to a slowing economy, the world isn't nearly as thirsty as it was earlier this year. But that doesn't mean the third quarter's going to be a bust for the oil companies.

Energy analysts say despite the recent fall in oil and natural gas, average prices are still higher than they were a year ago -- $147 a barrel highs occurred in the third quarter after all, and they're likely to push up companies' results.

As for the hurricanes that ravaged the Gulf Coast last month and damaged refineries, analysts say capacity may have been reduced, but prices went up as a result. As for the rest of the year, if prices stay below $100 a barrel, some analysts predict oil companies' fourth-quarter earnings could slide.

In New York, I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.