Exxon Mobil (Exxon) is expected unveil another quarter of monster profits powered by high natural gas prices next week.
It is currently on track for a record annual profit of $54.8bn thus year, according to IBES Refinitiv, which would be more than its cumulative earnings since 2018.
The company’s shares have surged to record highs this week, and are up more than 70 per cent to date this year – vastly outperforming market gains from rivals Shell, BP and Chevron.
A commodities boom has powered the oil and gas giant, alongside the wider industry, to bumper profits.
This has enabled the company to erase the $21bn it borrowed during the pandemic in 2020.
It took the hefty loan to pay its bills and keep dividend distributions intact, and is now expected to add $26bn in cash this year.
During the pandemic, the company suffered huge losses and unveiled swingeing job cuts – dropping it down the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
This allowed operator NextEra Energy to temporarily overtake Exxon as the US energy company with the largest market cap.
Since then, oil and gas prices have soared to historic levels this year fuelling the group’s return to the top.
Global oil peaked at a 14-year high of $139 per barrel in March following US and UK sanctions on Russian imports, and have hovered near the $100 milestone for most of the year.
Gas prices are rose to multi-year highs on European demand, climbing as high as £8 per therm on UK benchmarks.
This follows Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, driving up supply shortage fears amid rebounding demand from the pandemic.
The share rise has given the fossil fuel producer a market value of $438bn, making it 10th highest valued public company in the world.
The energy giant’s market cap peaked at more than $500bn in 2007, prior to the financial crisis.