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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 22:49 GMT 23:49 UK
Oil price supports Chevron profit
Chevron petrol station
Soaring oil prices are buoying profits for most energy firms
Profits at US energy groups Chevron and Unocal, two of the protagonists in a tangled takeover battle, have risen ahead of forecasts.

Chevron made $3.7bn in the second quarter, while Unocal earned $475m.

Results across the energy sector have proved healthy in recent days, as soaring oil prices have seen sales and profits jump.

Unocal has accepted a $17bn (9.7bn) bid from Chevron, spurning a higher one from Chinese state-owned firm CNOOC.

Shareholders could still choose the $18.5bn Chinese offer, but that would require approval from a multi-agency government panel.

An energy bill passed by both houses of the US Congress has added a 141-day delay before the review, to allow for a study on whether China's thirst for oil is harming US economic or national security interests.

Despite beating forecasts, Chevron's profits were in fact 10% lower than in the same period last year.

Weakness in its refining and marketing was partly at fault, with profits in the two sectors down 7%, while a decline in output also offset the boost from oil prices up 50% since the start of the year.

Unocal, in contrast, recorded a 40% rise in profits.

Unocal 'almost backed China bid'
25 Jul 05 |  Business
Unocal backs Chevron's new offer
20 Jul 05 |  Business
CNOOC offers Unocal bid sweetener
14 Jul 05 |  Business
China calls for Unocal bid review
03 Jul 05 |  Business
China oil firm 'eyes Unocal bid'
21 Jun 05 |  Business
Oil prices fall back from highs
28 Jun 05 |  Business

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