Benefiting from higher oil and gasoline prices, ExxonMobil, the largest oil company in the U.S., and Shell Thursday reported significant increases in second-quarter profits.

Earlier this week BP and ConocoPhillips reported strong but lower earnings over the comparable quarter last year. 

For ExxonMobil, the second quarter 2011 was the largest for the company since it set a corporate quarterly earnings record in 2008, The New York Times noted, when crude oil prices reached $150 a barrel before collapsing as the world economy slowed. 

ExxonMobil earned $10.7 billion for the quarter, up from $7.56 billion the year before. Shell earned $8.7 billion, up from $4.4 billion a year ago.

ConocoPhillips Wednesday reported a second quarter profit of $3.4 billion, or $2.41 a share, down from $4.16 billion, or $2.77 a share, last year.

BP on Tuesday reported lower than expected earnings for the second quarter as it continues to rebound from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. BP earned $5.6 billion for the second quarter, compared with a loss of $17.2 billion in the comparable quarter of 2010.

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