£7bn profit for oil giants as £5 gallon arrives

Just in case you still think we are in Iraq because we want to bring peace and democracy to them.

BP and Shell fuelled the anger of UK motorists today after the two firms racked up combined profits of more than £7 billion in three months.

The AA said drivers would be shocked to learn of the £3.3 million-an-hour first quarter earnings, at a time when rising oil prices had left them struggling with average unleaded petrol prices of around £5 a gallon.

The companies argue that while record oil prices inflated returns at their exploration and production divisions, tougher conditions were felt in downstream operations such as refining and marketing. The pair also insist they already pay high levels of tax to the Treasury.

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