HOUSTON --- The two largest publicly traded oil companies --- Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell --- last week reported record annual profits in 2006. They made $180 million a day between them. Exxon reported annual profit of $39.5 billion, or $6.62 a share, for 2006. This represents the company's second straight annual record -- once again, the largest profit reported by any American company in history. Shell's income in 2006 was $25.44 billion, up from $25.3 billion the previous year. Even in unstable places like Chad and Nigeria, the oil giants showed their ability to ramp up production worldwide, according to a report last week in the New York Times. Though smaller oil companies struggled in the fourth quarter, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell successfully navigated the year's volatile energy prices.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials