The two largest U.S. oil companies, Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp, reported record second-quarter 2022 revenue on Friday.
With crude topping $100 a barrel shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rising refining margins due to reduced plant capacity, ExxonMobil posted $17.9 billion in profit and Chevron $11.6 billion in the just-ended second quarter.
The results follow similarly stunning figures from European oil heavyweights, Shell reporting $18 billion in profits, Total Energies $5.7 billion and Eni $3.8 billion.
Crude prices traded between $95 and $120 a barrel in the quarter as the war and the wave of sanctions against Moscow pushed the oil market back to levels last seen in 2008.
On Friday, the two companies reported increased oil and natural gas volumes in the United States, with ExxonMobil boosted by a 130,000 barrel of oil equivalent increase in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, and Chevron registering a 3% increase in volumes in the United States.
ExxonMobil plans to add 250,000 barrels per day of refining capacity at its Beaumont, Texas plant in the first quarter of 2023, which represents “the industry’s largest U.S. capacity increase since 2012.” ExxonMobil Chief Executive Darren Woods said in a press release.
Both companies posted strong increases in revenue, with Exxon Mobil jumping 71% to $115.7 billion and Chevron jumping 83% to $69 billion.
This rise is considered one of the main factors behind global inflation, which has reached levels not seen for decades in the United States and Europe.
Inflation is already changing where Americans go and what they eat. It also changes the way they consume energy. Inflation in Europe has also increased, including soaring energy costs.
The two companies, which suffered significant financial losses at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as demand for oil plummeted, did not use the mountains of cash from rising prices to dramatically increase spending on oil. capital, which remain below the pre-pandemic level.
Instead, companies directed funds to shareholders. ExxonMobil paid out $7.6 billion in distributions during the quarter, while Chevron raised the high end of its annual share buyback range to $15 billion from $10 billion.
Shares of ExxonMobil jumped 4.1% to $96.39 in midday trading, while Chevron jumped 8.5% to $163.19.
Soaring U.S. gasoline prices that hit an all-time high in mid-June have strained American families and put pressure on President Joe Biden, who has had a rocky relationship with ExxonMobil and Chevron and the oil industry in general.
In June, Biden tore up the industry for spending excess cash on stock buybacks instead of dramatically increasing capital spending.