API highlights oil industry challenges despite record profits

WASHINGTON: Edelman is working with the American Petroleum Institute (API), the oil industry?s primary lobbying group, on a public issues campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the industry is facing severe challenges, even as its members pull in record quarterly profits.

WASHINGTON: Edelman is working with the American Petroleum Institute (API), the oil industry?s primary lobbying group, on a public issues campaign aimed at convincing Americans that the industry is facing severe challenges, even as its members pull in record quarterly profits.

Blue Worldwide, Edelman's advertising unit, has created print advertisements for API that have run in major daily newspapers across the nation,as well as in Roll Call and The Hill, said Jim Craig, API's media relations director.

Blue Worldwide also is handling the creative and ad-buying components of a new TV campaign that will run during news and public affairs programming, which started with NBC Nightly News this past Thursday, November 10.

"The television and radio ads have similar themes, talking a bit about using energy wisely and the difficulties from the hurricanes," Craig explained.

Crude-oil prices have spiked dramatically this year, due to production declines and damage caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.The higher prices have turned into an earnings bonanza for the industry.

For example, ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, reported its largest quarterly net profit ever for the quarter ending September 30 ? $9.9 billion, up 75% from the same quarter a year ago.

But industry representatives, including the CEOs of major oil companies who testified at Wednesday's Senate hearing, explained that exploration and production costs have grown tremendously in recent years, and any tax on profits would discourage attempts to boost production output.

"We've gotten a lot of media interest, not triggered by the hearings so much as just what's going on within the industry and the impact on consumers," Craig explained.

Aside from urging consumers to adopt conservation measures this winter, API's latest print advertising campaign advocates removing barriers on the production of natural gas on federal lands in the western part of the country and off the East and West coasts, where drilling moratoria are in place.

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