War and climate breakdown have proved lucrative for the world’s leading oil and gas companies, with financial records showing 28 of the largest producers made close to $100bn in combined profits in just the first three months of 2022.
Shell made $9.1bn in profit from January to March, almost three times what it made in the same period last year.
Exxon raked in $8.8bn, also a near threefold increase in 2021.
Chevron upped its profits to $6.5bn
BP reveled in its highest first-quarter profits in a decade, making $6.2bn.
Coterra Energy, a Texas-based firm, had the largest relative windfall of the 28 companies, with a 449% increase in profits on last year, to $818m.
The profits prompted several of the companies to return billions of dollars to shareholders via share buybacks and dividends.
Ben Van Beurden, chief executive of Shell, said that the company’s performance “has been helped by the macro and the macro has been impacted by the war in Ukraine”. He added that this situation means “we do have a better company, we do have a better performance, and yes indeed our shareholders will benefit from that as well”.
“The greed of these companies is staggering,” said Lori Lodes, executive director of Climate Power, an advocacy group. “We’ve heard their executives bragging about how much the agony of inflation and the tragedy of the war in Ukraine has allowed them to raise prices. These profits are going right into their pockets.”
António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, said in April.
“Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.”