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[Image: 20220213-oil_rig_crude-Pixabay_pic.jpg]

PARIS – Soaring energy prices have brought massive profits to oil majors – along with fierce criticism from environmentalists and politicians at a time when consumers are left with rising bills.

US firm ExxonMobil, France’s TotalEnergies, and UK giants Shell and BP announced in the past week 2021 profits totalling a whopping US$66.7 billion (RM279.4 billion).

It marked a huge turnaround from 2020, when they posted losses as the pandemic emerged, prompting lockdowns that brought the world economy to a grinding halt and caused crude prices to collapse.

But oil and gas prices rallied big time last year, surging to US$70 per barrel after briefly sinking into negative territory in 2020.

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