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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Chevron joins US oil firm bonanza
Chevron petrol pump
US drivers are complaining about high petrol prices
Chevron has seen its first quarter profit jump 49% to $4bn (2.2bn), making it the latest oil company to cash in on soaring world energy prices.

Its revenues rose 32% on last year, also boosted by sales from Unocal, the oil firm it bought in 2005.

Combined with rivals ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil, three of America's oil giants have earned a combined $15.7bn during the first quarter of 2006.

Meanwhile, US drivers have seen petrol prices rise 16% in the last month.

Political measures

According to the Department of Energy, the average petrol price has now hit $2.91 a gallon, adding approximately $500 to the average household's annual bill.

The pain at the pump is now having political consequences.

US politicians are now considering a range of measures to lower oil prices, including handing out rebates to consumers, giving more incentives for people buying hybrid electric/petrol cars, slashing tax breaks for big oil firms and encouraging companies to build more oil refineries.

Chevron's boss said profit growth was driven by its oil and gas exploration and production divisions, not its petrol retailing.

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