Oil Industry Netted Billions in Profits, Despite Global Price Dip

Amidst record breaking heat and intensifying climate disasters, industry is still calling for fossil fuel expansion in the second quarter of 2023

Offshore oil drilling rigs in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Paul Souders/Getty Images

Oil and gas majors have announced their earnings for the second quarter of 2023. Upon review of 15 oil and gas companies operating in the United States, it’s clear that the fossil fuel industry is still raking in massive profits despite lower oil prices and the sharp decline in gas demand

Earnings may have fallen compared with the first quarter (and compared to last year’s record-breaking profits), but coming out of what could be the hottest month in recorded history, the oil and gas industry’s enduring profitability should be cause for deep concerns.

As part of our series tracking Big Oil profits, here’s the latest snapshot of the earnings of 15 oil and gas companies operating in the U.S. for the second quarter of 2023: 

Company Name

Second Quarter 2023 Net Income

First Quarter 2023 Net Income
















Valero Energy






Phillips 66



EOG Resources






Pioneer Natural Resources



Occidental Petroleum



Diamondback Energy



Marathon Oil









Time after time, Big Oil shows it can deliver for shareholders but not the planet, and the second quarter of 2023 is no different. Despite oil and gas market volatility, the fossil fuel industry once again earned billions at the expense of the climate and our air and water. The entire world has experienced record high ocean temperatures and heat waves this summer, and U.S. taxpayers alone continue to pay an estimated $20 billion in direct federal subsidies every year to the fossil fuel industry. And that’s not including the billions more that individual states dole out annually to this increasingly destructive industry.

While the ocean warms and marine ecosystems begin to collapse, fossil fuel interest groups are urging the Biden Administration to expand fossil fuels on public lands and waters. In an open letter to the Biden Administration, the American Petroleum Institute and 14 other oil and gas industry organizations called on the President to list 11 new lease sales for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. These lease sales could occur between 2023 and 2028 as a part of the, National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (five-year leasing program). The leasing area up for auction could cover an estimated 700 million acres of public waters and could result in hundreds of winning bids. 

While the industry and their interest groups call for more drilling, oil and gas majors are turning their backs on pledges they made to slash emissions and invest in renewable energy. Despite this about face, the industry uses its false public statements to greenwash its activities while the planet warms and communities suffer. ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods even said that he aims to double the company’s shale oil output to produce up to 1 million barrels per day in the Permian Basin by 2027. When will oil and gas executives recognize that shareholders cannot profit from a planet devastated by climate change? The fossil fuel industry is doubling down on expansion and it’s time to reign it in. 

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