The tensions of an economy still highly dependent on fossil fuel, aggravated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ravages of climate change, have led the big oil companies to multiply profits, which has put them in the spotlight of public opinion.
“It is scandalous”. With these words, US President Joe Biden recently reproached the oil giants for not investing enough in increasing their production to reduce gasoline prices.
The president has been critical of companies that, such as oil companies, have indirectly benefited from the war in Ukraine, which generated an unusual increase in international crude oil prices in its first months.
Recently, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, also charged against the resurgence of fossil fuels and their “monstrous benefits”.
The figures left by the ‘boom’ of prices
On average, the world’s largest oil companies doubled – sometimes tripled – their profits in 2022. ExxonMobil increased them by 142% more, despite the deterioration caused by the interruption of its operations in Russia.
Shell sealed its best year in 115 years of history thanks to earnings of 42,309 million dollars (39,500 million euros), 110% more. And in a similar vein, Chevron, the second largest oil producer in the United States, increased its net profit by 127%.
The panorama will be completed on March 12, when Aramco publishes its results, which are on track to be the largest, since until the third quarter of 2022, the Saudi state oil company accumulated a net profit of 130,342 million, 68% more than a year before.