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Oil giants slammed for making ‘obscene’ £160b profit

Just Stop Oil protesters march and sing through Finsbury Park

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Oil giants have been slammed for preparing to announce an “obscene” £160billion profit bonanza while the households continue to struggle to make ends meet, a news report has claimed. According the report, the world’s five top biggest producers will reveal over the next fortnight just how much they raked in last year.

According to predictions by experts, the annual haul will be doubled on the back of sky-high energy prices that are causing misery for households and businesses.

The forecast combined profits for BP, Shell, along with US heavyweights Chevron and ExxonMobil, and France’s TotalEnergies would equate to more than £5,000 a second.

Alice Harrison, from the group Global Witness, told The Mirror: “In the midst of an acute energy affordability crisis that has forced over seven million UK homes into fuel poverty, the largest Western oil majors are anticipated to record staggering yearly profits of around £160billion.

“Let’s not forget that these companies are richer because the rest of us are poorer.

“Brits should be asking themselves whose side their government is on? Those of us living in cold, draughty homes or an industry that’s riding the wave of the energy crisis and returning billions to its shareholders.”

“If the profits of these companies were properly taxed, our government could free up money that’s desperately needed to rebuild this country – from giving Brits adequate and long-term support with the cost of their energy bills, to giving NHS nurses on the picket lines the pay raises they deserve.”

Tessa Khan, executive director of fellow campaign group Uplift. said: “These are profits that the oil and gas industry is taking from us in higher energy and fuel bills: from pensioners, families with children, UK businesses.

“They are profiteering while British people are struggling. It’s obscene.”

Under pressure, the Government announced an increased windfall tax on North Sea producers last year.

Yet it came after bosses at the London-listed multinational said in October it had not paid any UK windfall taxes due to heavy investment in the North Sea.

Last year’s profits could make something of a high point, as wholesale gas prices have fallen sharply in recent months and oil prices are some way their previous peaks.

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The oil companies also argue that profits now compare with heavy losses at the start of the Covid crisis.

Susannah Streeter, senior investments and markets analyst at broker Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Oil prices are hovering around $86 a barrel, well down from the spikes to above $120 last summer,

“However, energy prices are still elevated by historical standards and so these are still buoyant times.”

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