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Exxon has been investing more than it has been earning in the past five years, with the level of investments in new oil and gas supply double the level of profits, the supermajor said in an official response to accusations made by President Biden earlier this week.
"We have been in regular contact with the administration to update the President and his staff on how ExxonMobil has been investing more than any other company to develop U.S. oil and gas supplies," the company said in a statement
"This includes investments in the U.S. of more than $50 billion over the past five years, resulting in an almost 50% increase in our U.S. production of oil during this period," Exxon also said.
The President earlier this week hit at the oil industry for not investing enough in new production, singling out Exxon as an example.
"Why aren't they drilling? Because they make more money not producing more oil," he said. "Exxon, start investing and start paying your taxes," Biden said.
The President also said that they would make sure everyone knew how much Exxon was profiting. "Exxon made more money than God last year."
Exxon's 2021 profit stood at $23 billion, which was a year earlier preceded by a loss of $22.4 billion, which Exxon also noted in its statement, saying, "We kept investing even during the pandemic, when we lost more than $20 billion and had to borrow more than $30 billion to maintain investment to increase [refining] capacity to be ready for post-pandemic demand."
The oil industry has become a major target for both the White House and Congress in the blame game for record-high retail fuel prices. Accusations of price-gouging and deliberately staying away from new well drilling have abounded in the past few weeks. The industry, however, has not budged, saying that, quite plainly, it cannot switch on new drilling with a flick of a finger.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.