TotalEnergies, a French oil company, reported a full-year profit of $36.2 billion, which doubled last year's total. The other big oil companies, such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and Shell, also recorded a significant increase in annual profits.
The five big oil companies reported a total of $196.3 billion in profits last year, which is more than the economic output of most countries.
The energy giants used their profits to reward shareholders with higher dividends and share buybacks.
US President Joe Biden
, in his State of the Union address, said that the oil majors used their profits to buy back their own stock instead of investing to help keep gas prices down.
Biden proposed to quadruple the tax on corporate stock buybacks to incentivize long-term investments.