ExxonMobil, Chevron Profits Soar Amid High Oil Prices

ExxonMobil (XOM), America’s largest oil company, posted a net profit of $ 6.8 billion, coming back to profit after a loss of $ 680 million a year ago. Oil prices were crushed in the early months of the pandemic, when countries still restricted travel and economic activity stalled. But they’ve roared since, topping $ 80 a barrel.
Exxon revenues climbed 60% to $ 73.8 billion, as average crude oil prices rose 72% from the third quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of this year, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Oil futures topped $ 85 a barrel for the first time in seven years earlier this week, although prices have retreated slightly since then.
Chevron (CVX), America’s second-largest oil company, reported adjusted earnings of $ 5.7 billion, excluding special items, its best quarterly result in eight years. The $ 6.7 billion in free cash flow it generated was a record for the company.

Adjusted profit was not only 34% higher than forecast by analysts polled by Refinitiv, it was almost 17 times higher than the $ 340 million earned during the period last year.

Shares of both stocks edged higher in pre-market on Friday after the reports. Exxon shares are up 56% so far this year through Thursday’s close, while Chevron shares are up 33%.

But as good as the financial results of the oil companies are, the industry is once again coming under attack for its role in climate change. CEOs of both companies were shot at during testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday.

Democratic Representative Ro Khanna urged the CEOs of both companies to follow in the footsteps of their European rivals by planning to cut production to deal with the climate crisis.

“Are you embarrassed, as an American company, that your production is increasing while your European counterparts are decreasing? Khanna asked Chevron CEO Michael Wirth.

Wirth responded by pointing out that demand for energy is increasing around the world and refused to commit to reducing oil production.

“With all due respect, I am very proud of our company and what we do,” said Wirth.

Exxon CEO Darren Woods has also refused to commit to cutting oil production.

“We are committed to reducing our emissions,” said Woods.

– Matt Egan of CNN Business contributed to this report

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Felix J. Dixon

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