Did the COVID-19 pandemic reduce profits in the fossil fuel industry?

Thursday, March 24, 2022
By Lisa Freedland

In 2020, U.S. fossil fuel consumption reached its lowest level in 30 years, brought on by pandemic restrictions to travel and commerce and warmer weather that decreased demand for heating fuels. As a result, many fossil fuel companies experienced reduced profits: Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and BP saw losses of $22.4 billion, $5.5 billion, and $5.7 billion, respectively.

In 2021, as pandemic restrictions were lifted and the economy reopened, fossil fuel demand rebounded, causing steady increases in gas prices. This netted many oil companies the highest profits they've seen in years: Exxon, Chevron, and BP reported respective profits of $23 billion, $15.6 billion, and $12.85 billion.

Twenty five of the top oil companies announced a combined $205 billion in profits in 2021, according to watchdog group Accountable.US.

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