Big Oil ramps up domestic production—and profits

Feb 5, 2024

Chevron and Exxon Mobil posted higher profits than expected for 2023, despite falling oil and gas prices. Exxon made $36 billion, down from $55.7 billion in 2022, but otherwise its highest profit since 2012. Chevron made $21.4 billion last year, down from $35.4 billion in 2022, but otherwise its highest since 2013.

Both companies increased domestic production in 2023 in order to keep profits up and shareholders happy. The U.S. produced 13.3 million barrels of oil a day in November 2023—more than any country in history. Production in the Permian Basin, which includes parts of Texas and New Mexico, is driving much of that growth. The massive profits allowed Chevron to make record payouts to shareholders, while Exxon made the highest payouts of any U.S. oil company.

The U.S. is likely to remain the world’s biggest oil producer for decades, according to a recent analysis by Oil Change International. The study found that more than a third of planned oil and gas expansion globally between now and 2050 is slated for the U.S.

“The U.S. is locking in production for years that makes it hard to meet climate goals,” said Michael Lazarus, a senior scientist at Stockholm Environment Institute. “It’s out of sync and it needs reckoning.”

Quick hits

ExxonMobil and Chevron notch second-biggest annual profits in decade

Financial Times | New York Times | CNBC | Reuters | Yahoo Finance

Is liquefied natural gas dirtier than coal? It’s complicated

E&E News

Ranching is a part of Arizona’s history. Climate change and overgrazing cloud its future


How the U.S. became the world’s biggest gas supplier

New York Times

Utah taxpayers may have to foot the bill for Supreme Court battle over beleaguered oil railway

Salt Lake Tribune

Can coexistence with wolves be bought?

High Country News

Bills being debated at the Colorado Capitol could impact outdoor recreation

Summit Daily

Utah’s most visited park in 2023 wasn’t one of the ‘Mighty 5’


Quote of the day

The grazing that came with westward expansion, and the arrival of the railroad, and the arrival of huge numbers of sheep and cattle permanently changed ecosystems in the Southwest. It literally destroyed grasslands that haven’t come back, that probably won’t come back in some areas.”

Taylor McKinnon, Center for Biological Diversity, KJZZ

Picture This

three puppies


An important pupdate!

Last month, Denali National Park and Preserve announced the addition of three new puppies: Spark, Blaze and Char.

Follow along with @DenaliNPS as they share updates about the puppies’ growth and their journeys to becoming Denali Sled Dogs.


Feature image: Permian Basin oil and gas development in New Mexico, SkyTruth/Flickr