The big oil companies aren’t struggling as much as smaller independents — The big guys are more diversified. They pump oil and refine it into gas.
U.S. refineries have been able to buy oil at rock bottom prices, and turn it into gasoline. Gas prices haven’t fallen as fast as oil prices, so the refiners profit.
“I think, probably in the fourth quarter we’re going to see great results from the refineries,” said Luana Siegfried, a research associate at Raymond James.
But Siegfried says, even the bump in refinery profits is going away, as gas prices keep falling.
She does expect oil prices to rise later this year, though.
But other oil analysts, like Fadel Gheit at Oppenheimer, say no one can predict oil prices now. Gheit expects oil company’s earnings will keep falling.
“2015 was a very bad year. 2016 will be worse than 2015,” he said.
Gheit said if oil went up to $60 per barrel, a handful of oil companies might break even.
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