Big Oil corporation BP reported its highest quarterly earnings in eight years in 2021, buoyed by diminished supply and increasing prices worldwide.
BP earned a whopping $12.8 billion in profit last year, much higher than the $5.8 billion loss it reported in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, according to its earnings statement published Tuesday. In the fourth quarter of 2021, the period between October and December, the company reported $4.1 billion in profit, the highest figure since early 2013, Reuters reported.
Market analysts projected BP annual profit to hit $12.5 billion and quarterly profit to come in at $3.9 billion, according to CNBC.
“It has been another good quarter for the company,” BP CEO Bernard Looney told CNBC on Tuesday.”We call it performing while transforming.”
“We’re investing for the future,” he added in a statement after the report. “We’ve made strong progress in our transformation to an integrated energy company: focusing and high grading our hydrocarbons business, growing in convenience and mobility and building with discipline a low carbon energy business – now with over 5GW in offshore wind projects – and significant opportunities in hydrogen.”
On Tuesday, BP also touted its shift to renewables. The company said it is investing in wind and hydrogen power in both the U.S. and U.K.
Meanwhile, U.S. oil producers have also reported multiyear profit highs in recent weeks. On Jan. 28, Chevron reported an annual profit of $15.6 billion and, on Feb. 1, Exxon Mobil reported $23 billion in profit for 2021, up significantly from previous years.
President Joe Biden, however, asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate major oil companies which have raked in high profits while gasoline prices have surged over the last year. The White House has also continued to shift the blame on pump prices, pointing to Big Oil earnings as evidence of potential price gouging.
“We’ve also called out the record profits made by oil companies, which should not be lost as an issue as consumers are looking at the price that they are paying at — the prices they are paying,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday.
While gasoline prices fell in December, they have recently started to tick up again, according to Energy Information Administration data.