Chevron posts record earnings for 2022

California oil giant Chevron Corp. posted record profits of $35.5 billion last year, according to a 2022 fourth quarter report released on Friday.

Last year’s earnings were more than double those of 2021, when profits reached only $15.6 billion. Driving up profits was a record annual cash flow from oil operations of $49.6 billion, according to the report.

“We delivered record earnings and cash flow in 2022, while increasing investments and growing U.S. production to a company record,” Mike Wirth, Chevron’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Chevron is the second biggest oil company in the U.S., behind only Exxon Mobil, which is set to release its own fourth quarter earnings next Tuesday.

Both companies benefited last year from a surge in global oil prices, prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions on Russian crude that followed.

Comparing the fourth quarters of 2021 and 2022 alone, Chevron cited a rise in profits from $5.1 billion to $6.4 billion.

The company’s 2022 investments rose by more than 75 percent from 2021, while annual U.S. production surged to 1.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, the quarterly report said.

Chevron attributed this increase to 16 percent growth in unconventional oil production in the Permian Basin.

The oil giant also reported a return on capital employed of 20.3 percent in 2022 — the highest such return since 2011.

Among the 2022 accomplishments cited by the report were a near-complete project in Kazakhstan, approval of the deep-water Ballymore project in the Gulf of Mexico and authorization to expand the Tamar gas extraction operations off the coast of Israel.

The company also said it began a project to increase light crude oil processing capacity at its Pasadena, Texas, refinery by 15 percent and that it had discovered significant new gas off the shore of Egypt.

“We are well positioned to lead in both traditional and new energy businesses, while delivering higher returns, lower carbon and superior shareholder value,” Wirth said.

The company also touted programs to develop bio-based diesels, renewable fuel feedstocks and carbon capture technologies.

Friday’s report follows another announcement from Chevron that the company’s board had authorized a $75 billion share-repurchase initiative — a significant jump from the current $25 billion program.

Share repurchases are transactions through which a firm buys back shares of its own company on the open market — a move that typically raises stock prices.

While the repurchase program might be a boon to investors, the White House slammed the oil giant on Thursday for giving “handouts” to the wealthy following the announcement.

“For a company that claimed not too long ago that it was ‘working hard’ to increase oil production, handing out $75 billion to executives and wealthy shareholders sure is an odd way to show it,” White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said in a statement.

“We continue to call on oil companies to use their record profits to increase supply, and reduce costs for the American people,” Hasan added.

This story was updated at 1:09 p.m.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.