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Big Oil Profits Reached Record High Levels in 2022

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This visual highlights the five big oil companies that doubled their individual profits and earned a combined profit of over $200 billion in 2022.

Big Oil Profits Reached Record High Levels in 2022

Last year was a great year for oil companies.

Global crude oil prices had already escalated as global economies began recovering, and demand increased after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shot these prices further up as fossil fuel trade fell under the microscope.

In this graphic, Vipul Sharma of Mastermind Investor uses accumulated earnings data from Energy Monitor to highlight the five companies that made a cumulative profit of over $200 billion in 2022.

The Five Big Oil Winners

Within the span of one year, the five Big Oil companies ⁠— ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, and TotalEnergies ⁠— more than doubled their profits.

Company Profit 2021Profit 2022
ExxonMobil$23B$59.1B
Shell$19.3B$39.9B
Chevron$15.6B$36.5B
TotalEnergies$18.1B$36.2B
BP$12.8B$27.7B

Securing a total profit of $59.2 billion, U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil recorded the highest total of the lot. In 2021, the company’s profits were $23 billion or less than half of 2022’s haul.

It was joined by Chevron, whose profits rose by over 134% to $36.5 billion, and Shell, whose profit of $39.9 billion was the highest in the company’s 115-year history.

Where Will This Money Go?

One of the main focuses of the COP27 conference in Egypt last year was the global attempt to phase down fossil fuels and move to clean energy.

So far, these massive profits have largely gone to stock buybacks and reinvesting in shareholders. With lower oil prices so far in 2023, how will Big Oil react and spend moving forward?

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Energy

Who’s Building the Most Solar Energy?

China’s solar capacity triples USA, nearly doubles EU.

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Chart showing installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in China, the EU, and the U.S. between 2010 and 2022, measured in gigawatts (GW).

Who’s Building the Most Solar Energy?

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

In 2023, solar energy accounted for three-quarters of renewable capacity additions worldwide. Most of this growth occurred in Asia, the EU, and the U.S., continuing a trend observed over the past decade.

In this graphic, we illustrate the rise in installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in China, the EU, and the U.S. between 2010 and 2022, measured in gigawatts (GW). Bruegel compiled the data..

Chinese Dominance

As of 2022, China’s total installed capacity stands at 393 GW, nearly double that of the EU’s 205 GW and surpassing the USA’s total of 113 GW by more than threefold in absolute terms.

Installed solar
capacity (GW)
ChinaEU27U.S.
2022393.0205.5113.0
2021307.0162.795.4
2020254.0136.976.4
2019205.0120.161.6
2018175.3104.052.0
2017130.896.243.8
201677.891.535.4
201543.687.724.2
201428.483.618.1
201317.879.713.3
20126.771.18.6
20113.153.35.6
20101.030.63.4

Since 2017, China has shown a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 25% in installed PV capacity, while the USA has seen a CAGR of 21%, and the EU of 16%.

Additionally, China dominates the production of solar power components, currently controlling around 80% of the world’s solar panel supply chain.

In 2022, China’s solar industry employed 2.76 million individuals, with manufacturing roles representing approximately 1.8 million and the remaining 918,000 jobs in construction, installation, and operations and maintenance.

The EU industry employed 648,000 individuals, while the U.S. reached 264,000 jobs.

According to the IEA, China accounts for almost 60% of new renewable capacity expected to become operational globally by 2028.

Despite the phasing out of national subsidies in 2020 and 2021, deployment of solar PV in China is accelerating. The country is expected to reach its national 2030 target for wind and solar PV installations in 2024, six years ahead of schedule.

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