STORY: Shares of Exxon Mobil and Chevron jumped on Friday after the two largest oil companies in the U.S. posted record revenue, helped by surging energy prices.
The two U.S. oil giants, along with UK-based Shell and France's TotalEnergies, which reported blowout results on Thursday, combined to earn nearly $51 billion in the most recent quarter, almost double what the group brought in the same quarter a year ago.
All four companies boosted their buyback plans to satisfy investors looking for bigger returns.
Exxon posted its biggest quarterly profit ever, outpacing its rivals with second-quarter net income of nearly $18 billion, several billion more than its previous record reached in 2012, which had been padded by asset sales in Japan.
Chevron also posted its biggest quarterly earnings ever, with a net profit of $11.6 billion.
The results from the majors are sure to draw fire from politicians and consumer advocates who say the oil companies are capitalizing on a global supply shortage amid the conflict in Ukraine to fatten profits and gouge consumers.
U.S. President Joe Biden last month said Exxon and others were making "more money than God" at a time when gas prices skyrocketed to record highs.
Earlier this month, the UK passed a 25% windfall tax on oil and gas producers in the British North Sea. U.S. lawmakers have discussed a similar idea, though it faces long odds in Congress.