Exxon profits at record high in 2022 as energy prices soared

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Exxon Mobil posted record annual profits in 2022 as prices rose for petrol, home heating and consumer goods.

The oil giant brought in 12.75 billion dollars (£10.36 billion) in profits in the fourth quarter, bringing annual profits to 55.7 billion dollars (£44.7 billion).

That exceeded Exxon’s previous annual record of 45.22 billion dollars (£36.75 billion) in annual profits Exxon set in 2008, when a barrel of oil soared close to 150 dollars (£122).

The Texas-based company brought in 95.43 billion dollars (£77.6 billion) in revenue during the fourth quarter.

“While our results clearly benefited from a favourable market, the counter-cyclical investments we made before and during the pandemic provided the energy and products people needed as economies began recovering and supplies became tight,” said chief executive Darren Woods. “We leaned in when others leaned out.”

Exxon achieved its best-ever annual refining throughput in North America and the highest globally since 2012, the company said.

It mechanically completed the expansion of its Beaumont Refinery in Texas and expects to bring 250,000 barrels per day of crude oil distillation capacity to the market in first quarter of this year.

Exxon earned 3.09 dollars (£2.51) per share in the quarter. That was lower than the expectations of analysts polled by Factset, who were anticipating 3.29 dollars (£2.67) per share.

The price of oil ranged between 70 to 90 dollars (£57 to £73) for a barrel of US benchmark crude during the quarter.

Domestic natural gas prices, which affect the cost of home energy and electricity, ranged from six to seven dollars (£4.88 to £5.69) per million British thermal units during the quarter, according to FactSet, which was a higher price than most Americans have paid in recent years.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Russia has decreased its supply of natural gas to Europe, which resulted in higher prices of natural gas and its liquid counterpart, LNG, on the global market.

US President Joe Biden has accused oil companies of profiting from the war Russia waged on Ukraine, and has previously raised the possibility of a war profit tax on oil companies.

Exxon said it incurred 1.3 billion dollars (£1.06 billion) during the quarter associated with European taxes on the energy sector.

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