By Nandita Bose and Jarrett Renshaw
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Friday launched a contemporary assault in opposition to U.S. oil firms, accusing them of utilizing profits to pay shareholders as a substitute of boosting provide, after Chevron Corp stated its annual revenue doubled for 2022.
Chevron posted a document $36.5 billion revenue for 2022 that was greater than double year-earlier earnings, kicking off what analysts anticipate to be a bumper earnings season for international power suppliers.
Earlier this week, Chevron stated it might triple its spending on share repurchases to $75 billion over 5 years at present steerage. Other oil firms are anticipated to observe go well with.
“Companies clearly have the whole lot they want – document profits and 1000’s of accredited permits – to extend manufacturing,” White House spokesperson Abdullah Hasan stated in an announcement.
“The solely factor getting in the best way is their very own determination to maintain plowing windfall profits into the pockets of executives and shareholders as a substitute of utilizing them to spice up provide.”
Under former President Donald Trump, Congress handed massive, retroactive tax breaks for Big Oil, as gas demand dropped throughout COVID lockdowns. After oil costs soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European governments imposed windfall taxes on their oil industries, however U.S. lawmakers are unlikely to do the identical.
Chevron and Exxon Mobil – the nation’s two largest oil producers – are poised to put up document annual profits for 2022 of almost $100 billion mixed, analysts forecast.
Chevron didn’t instantly reply to a request from remark, Exxon declined to remark.
Hasan’s feedback mark the newest set of assaults from the White House lambasting oil firms for funneling a windfall of profits to buyers. President Joe Biden’s administration tried a number of instances final yr with out success to persuade oil firms to spice up output as gasoline costs rose, and Biden finally determined to faucet the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
Last week, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated Biden will veto a invoice by U.S. House of Representatives Republicans that limits the president’s authority to faucet the oil reserves if it passes Congress.
U.S. oil producers total are growing their budgets for brand new power tasks this yr, however the expenditures will probably be dwarfed by the quantities paid to shareholders.
The power trade final yr was one of many prime sectors within the S&P 500 index after trailing the broader marketplace for years.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose and Jarrett Renshaw in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons and David Gregorio)