BP Boasts Record Profits as Oil Giants Report Record Windfall

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British energy giant BP reported its highest annual earnings on Tuesday, the latest in a series of excellent earnings reports from oil and gas companies reaping the rewards of rising energy prices after the Russian invasion. from Ukraine.

key facts

British giant BP announced it was lowering its climate targets after reporting record annual profits of nearly $28 billion in 2022, the biggest in the company’s 114-year history and more than double the previous year.

Shell reported an annual profit of nearly $40 billion in 2022, the highest in the company’s 115-year history and more than double the previous year.

US giant ExxonMobil announced earnings of nearly $56 billion last year, a record for any American or European oil company.

Chevron’s profits more than doubled in 2022 and the company reported its highest grossing to date of $36.5 billion.

Alaska’s largest crude oil producer, ConocoPhillips, amid pressure from the Biden administration to approve a large drilling project in the state, reported a profit of $18.7 billion in 2022, the highest since the company was spun off. its refining operations in 2012.

key background

The world’s energy giants had a very strong year in 2022. Much of this was due to the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Western sanctions targeting Moscow, as well as retaliation by Russia, have disrupted or eliminated oil and gas supplies from one of the world’s largest exporters and pushed up global prices, and therefore oil and gas profits, In the clouds. With energy influencing everything from transportation, production, heating, and sales, prices have risen everywhere and the cost of living has skyrocketed. With record profits coupled with a growing cost-of-living crisis, governments and critics around the world have accused energy companies of profiteering, hoarding profits from rising energy costs instead of lowering prices. . Record annual earnings reports have reignited the debate over new windfall taxes in Europe and the UK.


Accusations of profiteering are far from new for the energy industry, which has been accused of lining the pockets of shareholders by tackling the looming climate crisis fueled by the products it uses. Despite record profits, oil and gas executives have asserted that higher energy bills are likely to be here to stay due to the costs of transitioning from fossil fuels to greener energy sources. Yet the energy giants’ work in the field, particularly in comparison to their traditional fossil fuel operations, is divisive and contested. While BP said it would increase investment in renewable energy following its record profits, it has also reduced climate commitments and vowed to increase its oil and gas targets. Shell has been accused by a nonprofit group of misleadingly exaggerating how much it actually spends on renewable energy. Most big companies face accusations, which are backed by scientific research, of “greenwashing”, where their climate claims do not match their actions.

what to observe

Other energy giants post earnings from 2022. French giant TotalEnergies will report on Wednesday and Canada’s Enbridge will report on Friday. Norwegian giant Equinor, which posted record quarterly profits for the year, will publish its annual report on March 23.

Other reading

Shell reports record profits as oil giants including Exxon and Chevron cash in on skyrocketing prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Forbes)

Oil industry windfall fails to excite Wall Street (WSJ)

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