The war in Ukraine has sent energy prices through the roof, and the oil companies are the big winners. Exxon reported a profit of almost 56 Billion dollars for the last year – earnings not seen in more than 150 years of the companies’ history. Shell just announced a record 40 Billion dollar profit. US company Chevron has just doubled its annual profits to record a 35 and a half Billion dollar windfall – the biggest in its history as well. Including BP and Total, the big five raked in an astounding 190 Billion dollars last year.
But also the money they saved by cutting investment. A new study shows that in 2021 big oil re-invested less than 6 percent of their profits. Share-holder dividends have grown, and renewable energy projects have been the biggest losers.
US President Joe Biden hit out at American energy giants, insisting they should be helping to bring down energy prices during a cost-of-living crisis, leaders in the UK have voiced similar demands. We speak to Christian Küchen, head of the fuels and energy industry association in Germany. Why did companies not invest more of their profits to bolster supply?
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