The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Pablo Willis,

Perks of Price-Gouging: Big Oil CEOs Receive up to 126% Pay Raise After Record Year

Two of the world's largest oil companies, Shell and BP gave their CEOs massive pay increases after the industry raked in a record-breaking $451 billion in profits last year. Former CEO of Shell, Ben van Beurden, received $12 million in 2022, a 50% raise in compensation. The CEO of BP, Bernard Looney, received a 126% increase in compensation, bringing his take home pay to $12.2 million in 2022.

The industry's historic margins in 2022 were largely achieved through the unabated price-gouging of American consumers. As families across the country experienced financial strain due to the artificially high prices at the pump, the industry spent over $163 billion on stock buybacks and dividends, further enriching their wealthy shareholders. Even as Big Oil executives complain about supposedly lower-than-desired margins in 2023, oil and gas companies have already publicly announced plans to buy at least $160 billion in stock backs starting this year.

“Big Oil CEOs forced American families into financial strain and ruthlessly squeezed every last dime out of working and middle-class people. Now, we see the extent to which executives personally benefited from their historic levels of price gouging," said Jordan Schreiber, Director of Energy and Environment at Accountable.US.

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.