The US’s biggest oil companies pumped out record profits over the last few months as Americans struggled to pay for gasoline, food and other basic necessities.
ExxonMobil reported an unprecedented $17.85bn (£14.77bn) profit for the second quarter, nearly four times as much as the same period a year ago.
Chevron made a record $11.62bn (£9.61bn).
The sky-high profits were announced one day after the UK’s Shell shattered its own profit record of $11.4bn (nearly £10bn) for the three-month period from April to June.
The record profits came after similarly outsized gains in the first quarter when the largest oil companies made close to $100bn in profits.
High energy prices are one of the leading factors driving inflation to a four-decade high in the US. Gas prices have fallen slightly in recent weeks but are now averaging $4.25 a gallon across the US, more than $1 a gallon higher than a year ago. Soaring energy prices are driving up the cost of everything from apples to toilet paper.
Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, increased its oil and gas production as crude prices hovered above $100 a barrel. Revenue at Exxon soared to $115.68bn, up from $67.74bn during the same quarter last year.
Shareholders reaped the benefits of high energy prices during the quarter. Since the start of 2022, Exxon and Chevron shares have risen close to 46% and 26%, respectively.
Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of Britain’s Trades Union Congress, called the “eye-watering profits” “an insult to the millions of working people struggling to get by because of soaring energy bills.
“Working people are facing the longest and harshest wage squeeze in modern history. It’s time working people got their fair share of the wealth they create, starting with real action to bring bills down,” said O’Grady.