The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Big Oil Posts Massive $41B Profits in Q1 Thanks to High Consumer Gas Prices

Halliburton CEO Confesses Creating “Perpetual Threat” of Gas Shortages Keeps Prices High and Profits Soaring


With today's release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, government watchdog Accountable.US shared new analysis showing top oil and gas companies raked in a staggering $41 billion during the first three months of 2022 as consumers continued to face high prices at the pump. On average, the companies made $1.2 billion more with many even doubling their profits when comparing the first quarters of 2022 and 2021.

Accountable.US pointed to comments from Halliburton Co. CEO Jeff Miller who recently confessed it was in their best interest to ensure consumer prices stay high by investing in "short cycle projects" that create "a perpetual threat of undersupply," which is "great" for Big Oil's bottom line. Oil and gas companies including BP, Marathon Oil, and APA Corporation invested more in short cycle projects and boasted favorable market conditions.

"This year is shaping up to be even better than the last for the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately for consumers, good news for Big Oil's bottom line never seems to be good news for them," Jordan Schreiber, director of energy and environment at Accountable.US. "Oil and gas giants like Halliburton admit it's in their best interest to create a perpetual threat of undersupply to keep consumer prices high and their insane profits rolling in. Make no mistake, these oil and gas companies would rather take their billions in profits and pass them on to wealthy industry executives than do anything to stabilize gas prices for consumers."

Read the full Accountable.US report here.

Key Findings:

  • Halliburton's Confession: Halliburton's CEO boasted about oil and gas companies creating a "perpetual threat of undersupply that is supportive to commodity prices" while touting profits.
  • High Prices, High Profits: Oil and gas companies creating a "perpetual threat of undersupply" to keep prices high and add to their $41b in quarter one profits.
  • Playing the Short Cycle: Companies including BP, Marathon Oil, and APA Corporation invested more in short cycle projects and boasted favorable market conditions.
  • On Average: On average, these oil and gas companies made $1.2b more in quarter 1 of 2022 than the same period last year.
  • Doubled Their Profits: Nearly two dozen Big Oil corporations more than doubled their profits, raking in $25b more over the same quarter last year.
  • Using Ukraine and High Prices: Industry executives boasted about their profits thanks to high oil and gas prices and the crisis in Ukraine.
  • Making It Rain: Oil and gas companies are prioritizing giving more money to shareholders over all else - giving over $26.b to shareholders in just three months with plans to shower even more on investors if prices stay high.

Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog that exposes corruption in public life and holds government officials and corporate special interests accountable by bringing their influence and misconduct to light. In doing so, we make way for policies that advance the interests of all Americans, not just the rich and powerful.