Got a question for you, if you ran a business supplying a much sought after and decreasing product, would you try to A) make as much money as you can now or B) sell the product at a modest profit to keep your customers happy even though they will buy the product even if you doubled the price?
Like most people in business, I am guessing you chose option A. Now apply that situation to the oil companies. Lately as petrol prices have started to creep up, even though the price per barrel of oil has levelled off, the oil companies have been copping it from all sides. Sure they are making big profits, but that is outweighed by the limited lifespan of the business they are in.
Do people believe they have a right to get cheap petrol? Oil companies aren't there to be a charity for the masses. They are there to serve their shareholders and to make money for them. If they could charge AU$2 per litre (~US$6.50 per gallon) for fuel and people would pay for it (and the government not regulate them), I think they would. I think an old saying said it best 'Make hay while the sun shines'. At present the sun is shining for the oil producers of the world, production is at its highest levels ever and we are consuming every bit of oil that they can give us.
The oil comnpanies know that oil will eventually run out, estimates of between 20-80 years are common and there are new technologies in the pipeline (electric, hydrogen, etc) that will reduce the world's reliance on oil which will either put the oil companies out of business or force them to cut back on the scale of their operations significantly.
If people were truly pissed off with paying the current AU$1.40 per litre in AUstralia, $3 a gallon in the US or 94p per litre in the UK they would just reduce the amount they drive and use other methods of transport.
The same people whinging are also the same people that drive 4WDs, Falcons and Commodores, some of the biggest fuel users on our roads. Why don't they get a smaller car, or at least a car with a smaller engine, or convert? Stop ya whinging and find a way around it. Whinging about fuel prices won't mean shit when we run out.