Exxon and Chevron Report Record Profits on High Oil Prices

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    Exxon on Friday said that its refining profits — earnings that come from processing crude oil into gasoline and other fuels — surged to $5.3 billion, from a loss of $865 million a year ago. At Chevron, refining profits were $3.5 billion in the second quarter, up from $839 million the year before.

    Rising energy costs have become a major contributor to inflation around the world, and have triggered sharp criticism of the energy producers. In June, Mr. Biden said that “Exxon made more money than God this year,” as he chastised the company for not investing enough to increase production. Britain, home of BP and Shell, has announced a special tax on the “extraordinary” profits of oil and gas companies.

    “Chevron is growing energy supply, increasing investment, and we’re engaging constructively with Congress and this administration,” Pierre R. Breber, Chevron’s chief financial officer, said on a call with investors to discuss the results on Friday.

    On Thursday, Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, blamed high energy prices on global market conditions and on government policies that had discouraged investment in oil and natural gas.

    “In the end our role is to supply the energy the world needs,” he said.

    On Friday, Exxon and Chevron noted that they were increasing production in the Permian Basin, a shale oil field in Texas and New Mexico. But the companies are facing pressure from shareholders not to overspend on expansion, said Faisal A. Hersi, an energy analyst at Edward Jones.

    “After years of overspending, these companies have found religion and are focused on capital spending discipline,” said Mr. Hersi. “They’re going to try to grow production at that 1 to 3 percent rate, which is an acceptable rate for investors as long as they’re able to increase cash returns.”

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