28 oil companies made almost $100 bln in first quarter of 2022
Following the global chaos which came after Russia launched its military operation at the end of February, the largest fossil fuel businesses in the world made major profit.
It seems corporate did not get the memo on the COP26 conference - or they got it and chose to ignore it.
In a report written by the Guardian, 28 of the largest oil producers, according to financial records, made almost $100 billion in combined profits in only the first 3 months of 2022.
Following the global chaos which came after Russia launched its military operation at the end of February, the largest fossil fuel businesses in the world made major profit: $93.3 billion to be precise.
Shell alone, from January to March, made $9.1 billion, which is almost three times what it made around the same time last year. Exxon made $8.8 billion, which is also three times more than it made in 2021. BP also racked up its highest Q1 profits in a decade, which amounted to $6.2 billion. Texas-based Coterra Energy made 449% more profit than last year.
While corporates have been cashing up massive numbers, the world has been dealing with unprecedented inflation.
The CEO of Shell, Ben Van Beurden, said that the company's profiting “has been helped by the macro and the macro has been impacted by the war in Ukraine”.
He added that the situation meant that the company is now better, and has a better performance - and, "yes, indeed, our shareholders will benefit from that as well."
War is good for profit.
In February, Murray Auchincloss, BP's CFO, said “Certainly, it’s possible that we’re getting more cash than we know what to do with.”
Climate activists and environmentalists have called the profits "obscene," arguing that fossil fuel profits would not be so rewarding if governments handled the climate crisis as they should.
Lori Lodes, executive director of Climate Power, said “The greed of these companies is staggering."
“We’ve heard their executives bragging about how much the agony of inflation and the tragedy of the war in Ukraine has allowed them to raise prices. These profits are going right into their pockets.”
The increasing oil profits are alarming given that scientists have warned over and over that the world should move towards less dependency on fossil fuel in order to avoid disaster, including heatwaves, drought and other climate emergencies.
There is more money being made from destroying the environment than there is from efforts to preserve it.
In 2021, 28 large oil and gas companies made, altogether $183.9 billion.
Wealthy nations have failed to keep their promise to deliver $100 billion to underdeveloped countries to help them cope with climate impacts. In parallel, the largest bill in US history to combat the climate crisis, which would've cost the US government $55 billion a year over 10 years, was canceled due to Republicans and Joe Manchin, who is a Democratic senator that has expressed his support for coal mining. Chances are that politicians benefit from shares in energy companies.
According to the International Energy Agency, there can be no new oil and gas fields, or coal mines, if the world intends to commit to reaching net-zero emission by 2050, preventing the planet from breaching a 1.5C rise in temperature. According to scientists, temperatures above 1.5C will be a disaster for the planet.
“Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness,” António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, said in April. “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.”
Oil companies have their "shell company" activism, such as Exxon, who promised to cut its emissions to net-zero by 2050. The catch? The promises are concentrated on emissions coming from drilling and transporting oil and gas, as opposed to consumer use which is the largest share of the pollution.