UK: A record-breaking $39.9 billion in annual profit was reported by UK-based oil and gas company Shell in 2022, despite the fact that British consumers and businesses were struggling with skyrocketing energy costs.
The company announced on Thursday that the amount was more than double its projected profit of $19.29 billion for 2021 and far exceeded the previous record of $28 billion set in 2008. Additionally, it reported a record fourth-quarter profit of $9.8 billion thanks to a significant improvement in earnings from trading liquefied natural gas.
Shell's chief executive Wael Sawan said, "Our results in Q4 and across the full year demonstrate the strength of Shell's differentiated portfolio, as well as our capacity to deliver vital energy to our customers in a volatile world."
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The business also disclosed that it will pay $500 million in cash tax in the UK this year in addition to an estimated $2.4 billion in accounting expenses related to windfall levies in 2022.
The report, however, drew criticism and calls for a windfall profit tax on Big Oil as consumers struggled with the crisis of rising living costs.
The Trades Union Congress' (TUC) general secretary, Paul Nowak, called Shell's profits "obscene" and "an insult to working families," highlighting the need for higher windfall taxes.
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"While families across Britain struggle to make ends meet and pay their bills, Shell is experiencing a cash windfall. It's too late to use justifications. The government must levy an increased windfall tax on the energy sector. He claimed that millions were being left on the table.
Ministers should force Big Oil and Gas to pay their fair share, said Nowak, rather than restricting the pay of millions of struggling public employees such as paramedics, teachers, firefighters, and millions more.
The world's largest energy companies, who have benefited from higher oil and gas prices, have been posting record-breaking results on a consistent basis. The most recent example is Shell's earnings report.
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ExxonMobil, the largest oil company in the US, reported a $56 billion profit for 2022 on Tuesday, setting a record high for the Western oil sector. Another significant American energy company, Chevron, earlier reported a record $36.5 billion profit for the previous year.