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.