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Exxon Mobil, Shell, and Chevron jointly posted $131 billion in profits for 2022, earning $14.96 million an hour and setting a historic high for the western oil and gas industry.

Britain’s Shell has reported profits for 2022 of almost $40bn on the back of a strong performance from its gas trading business.

Europe’s largest oil and gas company said that adjusted earnings had more than doubled to $39.9bn, smashing the previous record of $31bn set in 2008

The earnings continued record profits for the world’s biggest energy companies. U.S. rivals ExxonMobil and Chevron recently reported annual incomes of $55.7 billion and 35.5 billion, respectively.

These record profits result from both price gouging by the energy companies and the slashing of costs, including holding wage increases below the inflation rate.

Oil and gas prices have surged over the past year as Russian forces stormed into Ukraine, and global demand soared as economies recovered.

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