Exxon reaps historic $56 billion in profit in 2022

STORY: In a year when U.S. gasoline prices surged, Exxon Mobile in 2022 took in an astronomical $56 billion in profit - setting not only a company record, but a historic high for the Western oil industry.

That amounts to roughly $6.3 million an hour in profit last year.

Exxon’s results, which the company reported on Tuesday, blew past its prior record of $45.2 billion of profit in 2008. But that was back when oil hit $142 a barrel, 30% higher than last year's average price.

Deep cost cuts during the health crisis helped supercharge Exxon’s earnings last year – as did soaring demand for oil as economies reopened. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine also contributed to price spikes.

Exxon’s results may set up another confrontation with the White House. President Joe Biden has repeatedly blasted oil firms for pouring cash into shareholder payouts rather than increasing production to lower prices at the pump.

Exxon on Tuesday said spending on new oil and gas projects bounced back last year to $22.7 billion, up 37% from the prior year.

It also boasted that its cash flow from operations soared to $76.8 billion in 2022, up from $48.1 billion a year earlier.

Exxon’s results come ahead of what are expected to be strong earnings from Shell on Thursday and from BP and TotalEnergies next week.