Oil companies’ profits soared to $174 billion this year as US gas prices rose

During the first nine months of this year, the biggest oil and gas companies made a combined total of $174 billion in profits while prices in the U.S. rose.

The new report shows that in the first three quarters of 2021, 24 of the top companies amassed more than $74 billion in net income.

Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and BP were all included in the group whose net income was $174 billion from January to September of this year. The companies have credited the increasing cost of oil for this jump in profits, as Exxon alone garnered $6.75 billion in the third quarter.

The spike marks Exxon’s highest profit since 2017. BP also made a large third-quarter profit, boasting $3.3 billion. Bernard Looney, chief executive of BP, told investors at the earnings report, “Rising commodity prices certainly helped.”

Gas prices have reached a seven-year high in the United States because of the increasing cost of oil. Americans are now shelling out around $3.40 per gallon of fuel at the pump, compared to roughly $2.10 this time last year.

President Joe Biden’s administration has warned that the price increases are hurting low-income people the most, despite looking to implement climate change plans to move America away from the use of fossil fuels. Biden has also released 50 million barrels of oil from the national strategic reserve as a way to help decrease costs.

But still, oil and gas companies have taken little initiative so far to up oil production to assist in reducing costs, and the report, published by the government watchdog group Accountable.US, accuses the companies of “taking advantage of bloated prices, fleecing American families along the way” as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“Americans looking for someone to blame for the pain they experience at the pump need look no further than the wealthy oil and gas company executives who choose to line their own pockets rather than lower gas prices with the billions of dollars in profit big oil rakes in month after month,” said the president of Accountable.US, Kyle Herrig.

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