Shell Oil’s Profit Report Confirms West Coast Profiteering

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Senator Boxer Calls on Shell to Answer Questions

Santa Monica, CA — The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) today said Shell‘s first quarter report showing world record profit margins from refining operations on the West Coast demonstrate price gouging at the pump and should force Shell to keep its Bakersfield refinery open.

The Shell profits report is consistent with FTCR’s analysis of gasoline prices and profits during the last two years, which show profits spiking with each increase in pump price. See

“The only reason an oil company making world record profits from its refining operations in the West has to demolish, rather than sell, one of California’s 13 remaining refineries is to set a new world record for refinery profits next year,” said Jamie Court, FTCR’s president. “Shell is seeking to artificially reduce supply, even as 14 potential buyers have surfaced for its refinery. Shell should agree to Senator Boxer’s call yesterday or the appointment of a broker to make the sale of this refinery real and keep 2% of the state’s gasoline supply online.”

California’s US Senator Barbara Boxer wrote Shell yesterday asking for a broker to be appointed to facilitate the sale of the refinery and calling on Shell to answer questions about its contradictory statements regarding the reason for the Bakersfield refinery’s closure. View the letters at

Shell‘s first quarter profit report released today states, “In the first quarter of 2004, industry refining margins averaged $7.65, $9.60, $2.70 and $2.00 a barrel in US Gulf Coast, US West Coast, Rotterdam, and Singapore, compared to $6.40, $6.85, $3.90 and $2.05 a barrel in the same period last year. “

The report can be assessed at

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Consumer Watchdog
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