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ExxonMobil's Record Profits Defy Political Expectations

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Exxon Expects Yet Another Strong Quarter

Exxon expects to book another strong quarter in financial results, with profit for October-December 2022 seen at $15.4 billion, according to a securities filing Reuters quoted in a report.

Analysts have estimated that the supermajor’s full 2022 net profit could hit $56 billion, which would be a record high. The record result would come on the back of wild price volatility for most of 2022.

According to preliminary operational figures for Exxon, its net profit for the full year could in fact reach $58 billion, Reuters noted in its report.

Although the total annual oil price rise for benchmarks was just 10 percent in 2022, the huge swings and the period when Brent was trading above $100 per barrel following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine served to boost supermajors’ bottom lines.

These bottom lines made many in the White House angry during the year, prompting calls for a return to production growth above shareholder returns and even accusations of being “un-American” and profiteering from the war in Ukraine.

To this, the industry has responded with its own accusations of the federal government following a less than friendly policy towards the oil industry and with statements of economic facts such as cost inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain problems that began during the pandemic lockdowns but persist to this day.

Earlier this week Exxon’s chief executive also responded to such accusations, noting that this year’s record profits actually translated into modest returns on investment over a longer period.

Noting that those accusing the industry of raking it in should not ignore the massive losses it suffered in 2020, Mike Wirth said that “Through the cycle, it's an industry that generates 10%-ish returns on capital employed, which is I think, by the standards of many other industries, a pretty modest return,” as quoted by Bloomberg. 


By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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