Exxon Laid Out Plans to Spend $30 Billion in Stock Buybacks as Gas Prices Soared

While sky-high gas prices were draining the public’s wallets at the pump, a new report reveals that Big Oil corporations across the board were bragging about their profits in meetings and making plans to enrich executives and shareholders with their record revenues.

Groundwork Collaborative analyzed shareholder and analyst callsExxon, Shell, and Chevron executives celebrated high gas prices. The companies spoke out about their primary goals, which were to maximize profits and return shareholders’ capital, and acknowledged that inflation and economic uncertainty were an opportunity.

Over the past months, gas prices have soared – and oil companies are posting record profits as a result. The conservatives and the fossil fuel sector Have pointed to factors like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID economy as being the primary reasons for high prices, but, as climate advocates Have saidThe industry plays a significant role in keeping prices inflated.

For example, in a earnings call in July, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden saidAlthough there is some instability in the country and lower production as a result, it is generally good news for businesses.

“We do have a bullish outlook on oil and gas prices generally and … in areas of greater stress like in Europe,” van Beurden said on a July 28 call on Shell’s Q2 earnings. “And that is why we are also quite confident to say that, hey, if the conditions that we are witnessing today are persisting, then we expect to be paying out more than 30 percent of our cash flow” to shareholders and buybacks.

Meanwhile, Chevron executives noted in a July 29 call that while the company’s production decreased by 7 percent from last year, the Q2 earnings increased by a towering $8 billion over the same period last year.

The earnings calls are further evidence thatTo make a profit, the fossil fuel industry uses high inflation and instability. Climate advocates and legislators You have called forTo discourage them from inflating gas prices, a windfall tax was placed on the oil and natural gas industry.

Groundwork Collaborative denounced the companies for taking advantage consumers who are already facing high inflation in other areas.

“The data is in. As Americans hit their breaking point with high prices at the pump, Big Oil CEOs are using the crisis in Ukraine to bring in eye-popping profits,” Lindsay Owens, Groundwork Collaborative executive director, said in a statement. “Exxon brought in $2,245 a second in the second quarter – that’s not a strong quarter, it’s a one-way racket.”

Record-breaking earnings were posted by oil and natural gas corporations this year. All across the globe six of the largest oil corporations, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has found that Q2 earnings have jumped nearly 250 percent this year over 2021’s Q2 earnings.

In some cases, these companies’ revenues have reached new heights. Exxon and Chevron have both reported making record-breaking profits and revenues over the past three months; Exxon’s income between April and June was $17.9 billion, or more than triple its income over the same period last year. Chevron similarly experienced a highly profitable quarter, with profits more than tripling over 2021’s Q2, reaching $11.6 billion.

As gas prices reached an average of overThese corporations spent $5 per gallon in June to buy back stock, breaking records. The NRDC foundThe same six companies that have increased their earnings by a staggering $18 billion have also spent an incredible $18 billion on stock purchasebacks.

As the companies told their shareholders, they’re planning on keeping these buybacks going. Exxon said in a July earnings call that it is planning on spending $30 billion on stock buybacks over this year and the next – while predicting that gas prices will stay high for years. Shell and Chevron also stated that they are able to increase stock buybacks due to higher earnings.

Help! Transformative journalism that is donor-funded is at risk.

For over two decades, Truthout has published uncompromised, truly independent journalism that puts social and environmental justice before profit — funded overwhelmingly by our readers.

To live out our core values, it has been crucial to remain donor-funded. We’re not answerable to a high-powered media conglomerate or a billionaire owner. Our work is based on the interests of our readers, and our team, a small group of dedicated nonprofit workers who want to see progressive journalism make a difference in society.

That being said, it’s not always easy being donor-funded. The majority of our donations are one-time gifts, making it difficult to plan for the future and putting us in a tough financial position more often than we’d like. We’ve set the aspirational goal of doubling our monthly donors, so we can rest a little easier each month and focus more on publishing the award-winning journalism you know us for.

We’re looking for 33 more people to start a monthly gift by the end of today. Please, if you’ve found value in our work, consider starting a monthly, tax-deductible donation. Every dollar counts.

Donate Now