62,5 milliards de dollars: les bénéfices trimestriels pharaoniques des cinq majors pétrolières

Le géant britannique des hydrocarbures était le dernier des cinq grandes majors pétrolières à publier ses résultats trimestriels. Pour le deuxième trimestre 2022, il affiche un bénéfice net multiplié par trois sur un an à 9,26 milliards de dollars.

After TotalEnergies, Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron, it was BP’s turn to release its quarterly results on Tuesday, August 2. Like its competitors, the British oil company saw its profits skyrocket as hydrocarbon prices rose. In the second quarter of the year, the British giant thus published a net profit multiplied by three in one year to 9,260 million dollars.

On the other hand, for the first six months of the year, BP posted a net loss of $11.13 billion as the group incurred an after-tax charge of $24.4 billion in the first quarter following its exit from Russia’s Rosneft, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24. .

In total, the five largest companies in the sector have collected 62,460 million dollars in profits in the last three months. (In ascending order: TotalEnergies $5.7 billion, BP $9.26 billion, Chevron $11.6 billion, ExxonMobil $17.9 billion, and Shell $18 billion.) For comparison, it is more or less the equivalent of the GDP of Bulgaria in 2020.

sky high hydrocarbons

During the second quarter of the year, a barrel of black gold traded in New York traded between approximately 95 and 120 dollars. Rising for more than a year due to a rebound in demand from businesses and households after the pandemic, it has been pushed to levels not seen since 2008 last spring, following sanctions imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine last spring. February 24th.

Gas, meanwhile, is soaring again as Russia is gradually reducing its shipments to the Twenty-seven. The war in Ukraine is causing serious energy tensions between Westerners and Moscow, which uses gas as a geopolitical weapon and makes its natural gas deliveries weaker and more uncertain, when they are not completely isolated like Poland, Bulgaria or Latvia from last. Saturday.

This rise in energy prices contributes significantly to inflation, the highest in several decades in the Old Continent and in the United States.

In the United States, Joe Biden attacks the majors

Across the Atlantic, the US government regularly criticizes companies in the sector for enriching themselves at the expense of motorists instead of investing in production.

Last June, during a speech on inflation, President Joe Biden directly criticized oil giant ExxonMobil for not pumping more oil, which could drive down prices, simply to boost profits even further. He then jokingly suggested that ExxonMobil would “make more money than God” in the second trimester.

For their part, ExxonMobil and Chevron say they are making efforts. The first argues in particular that its refining capacity will be higher by about 250,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2023, “representing the largest US industry capacity addition since 2012”its CEO Darren Woods said in a press release.

The two great Americans are not taking advantage of this new financial windfall to boost their investment spending. The level of the latter remains lower than before the pandemic. On the other hand, they take the opportunity to reduce their level of indebtedness and pamper their shareholders.

Monstrous gains that make you cringe

In the Old Continent, these pharaonic profits have given rise to a heated debate around the establishment of a temporary tax on the “super profits” of multinationals while many households have seen their purchasing power erode with the rise in the cost of living. Thus, last May, London announced the creation of an exceptional tax on the energy sector in order to help finance part of the government aid for the most modest households. Italy has taken a similar approach.

A temporary tax has also been introduced in Spain and Portugal. These two countries of the Iberian Peninsula have obtained an exemption from Brussels to temporarily deviate from the rules of the European electricity market. Objective: to limit the price of gas supplied to gas plants for one year. Gas producers will be compensated and will receive the difference between the market price and the cap rate. This compensation will be financed through a tax on profits collected by electricity companies.

France rejects the idea of ​​a tax on “super profits”

In France, the hint of an “exceptional tax” on the “exceptional profits” of hydrocarbon suppliers, maritime transport providers or even motorway concessionaires was completely discarded by parliamentarians on Tuesday, August 2. This hint, first mentioned last spring, has resurfaced in recent days after TotalEnergies’ earnings doubled in the second quarter.

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire reiterated his opposition to the “Pavlovian reflection of the tax”. “A tax has never improved the lives of our compatriots. They need money in their pockets, not in the pockets of the State”supported the Minister.

Pressed, however, TotalEnergies announced a few days ago that it will apply a discount at the pump of 20 cents per liter between September and November at all its service stations, after 10 cents per liter the rest of the year.

(with AFP)