by John Hugh DeMastri
The pay packages for the chief executives of British oil giants BP and Shell skyrocketed in 2022 after the oil titans posted record profits off the back of high gas prices last year, Reuters reported Friday.
The salary of BP CEO Bernard Looney climbed to roughly £1.3 million, while performance-related bonuses and stock awards climbed to £10.03 million, to a total of £11.33 million in compensation, more than two and a half times the £4.46 million he earned in 2021, the company announced Friday. BP —which lagged behind its American competitors in 2022 despite a record profit of roughly $28 billion — has drawn criticism from activists for cutting its green investments and reinvesting in gas and oil, Reuters reported.
Former CEO Ben van Beurden of fellow British oil giant Shell, who stepped down at the end of last year, received a 53% pay bump in 2022, to £9.7 million, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Shell posted a record profit of $40 billion last year, Reuters reported.
President Joe Biden called companies’ profits a “windfall of war” in an October 2022 speech, and proposed aggressive taxes on stock buybacks in his State of the Union, criticizing companies for using ‘outrageous’ profits to benefit shareholders during an energy crisis. These sentiments have been echoed by activists, several of whom have criticized oil companies for profiting at a time when some families are struggling to pay their energy bills, according to CNBC.
“Instead of allowing these huge payouts to end up in the pockets of CEOs, the government must step in with a proper tax on the oil industry and its profits, channel the money into stopping energy waste from homes, and invest in green heating schemes,” Mel Evans, Greenpeace UK’s head of climate, told Reuters Friday.
Bernard Looney, the CEO of @bp_plc, made £10.03 million for 2022 — or around $12 million — according to the company's annual report, released today. https://t.co/zbxVHDaGZZ pic.twitter.com/ozQcIxJy36
— Carlos Anchondo (@cjanchondo) March 10, 2023
Oil firms in both the U.S. and Europe shattered their earnings records in 2022, after oil prices spiked following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Both European and U.S. politicians have criticized oil firms for profiting off of the situation.
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John Hugh DeMastri is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Bernard Looney” by Graham Trott. CC BY 4.0. Photo “Ben van Beurden” by José Cruz/Agência Câmara. CC BY 3.0. Background Photo “Oil Rig” by David Thielen.