ExxonMobil posted $56 billion in profits for 2022, exceeding the U.S. oil giant’s own record profit of $42.5 billion in 2008. Exxon has now rebounded from a historic low during the global pandemic, when the oil major lost $22 billion in 2020. To put Exxon’s record-breaking good year into perspective, the company made approximately $6.3 million per hour in 2022, which is a new high water mark for the Western oil industry, according to Reuters.
ExxonMobil’s latest annual earnings were expected to be somewhere in the stratosphere, but these profits are on the way to the moon. Exxon’s full-year results are likely the first in a number of historic highs for oil companies, including BP and Shell. Reuters says many of the oil and gas giants will post record profits later this week thanks to a combination of high prices and higher demand in 2022. As a whole, the oil industry could be looking at profits totaling almost $200 billion. Behold the monolith, rendered in color and neon lights.
But Exxon didn’t make all that profit off prices and demand alone. The company cut costs drastically during the pandemic, which has had lasting effects. That’s how Exxon managed to beat its previous record from 2008 by about $13.5 billion — even though the average price of oil was higher back then by 30 percent at $142 per barrel.
Yearly production in 2022 was at 3.8 million barrels per day, or up by 100,000 barrels compared to 2021. That yielded $76.8 billion in revenue for the year (before expenses), which demolished Exxon’s cash flow in 2021 at $48.1 billion.
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And yet despite record profits, ExxonMobil is upset with the European Union for making the company pay too much in taxes. Exxon is also reportedly headed towards a tiff with the Biden Administration, which is upset with the company for funneling profits to shareholder payouts and not more production.
Exxon is suing the EU for exceeding its legal authority by imposing a windfall tax that went into effect at the final quarter of the fiscal year. The windfall tax slashed $1.3 billion from Exxon’s fourth-quarter earnings, and if it weren’t for those meddling kids and their taxes, the company’s annual profit would’ve been $59.1 billion, or about $6.7 million per hour versus $6.3. Oh well. There’s always next year.