Rising energy prices produced record profits for major oil companies last quarter, when gas prices peaked amid gushing global demand and supply disruptions.
ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell all posted unprecedented earnings this week, raking in a combined $41 billion for the second quarter ended June, when the average price for a gallon of gas hit an all-time high of $5.01 in the U.S.
Shell reported its second consecutive quarter of record profits on Thursday, saying its Q2 adjusted earnings hit $11.5 billion — blowing past the company's Q1 record of $9.1 billion.
The company also announced a $6 billion share buyback.
Then on Friday, Exxon reported record profit of $17.85 billion for Q2, an almost four-fold increase from the same quarter last year.
Chevron posted a record $11.62 billion haul, also nearly quadruple what the company made in Q2 2021.
|XOM||EXXON MOBIL CORP.||102.99||+0.25||+0.24%|
Energy costs began climbing last year when demand grew as global economies clawed back from slowdowns brought on by COVID-19. But oil and natural gas prices surged even further following bans on imports of Russian energy following the country's invasion of Ukraine.
President Biden warned the American people that Western sanctions against Russia would mean more pain at the pump, but high fuel costs have now driven inflation to a 40-year high and tanked the president's poll numbers.
Biden blames U.S. oil producers for the rising energy costs during his administration, accusing them of price gouging and saying last month that "Exxon made more money than God this year."
The oil industry argues the Biden administration's policies hinder domestic fossil fuel production, and his push for transitioning to a renewable energy economy discourages investment in further refining capacity.
Chevron CEO Mike Wirth said earlier this month that energy firms are "producing as much in the refining system as possible," and pointed to the increased supplies as part of the reason gas prices are falling.
"The industry is responding with increased production," Wirth said. "We need to see rhetoric and messaging that indicates that our country supports increased production."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.