IRVING, Texas - Despite the cost of cutting operations in Russia, Irving-based Exxon Mobil doubled its year-to-year quarterly profit, with nearly $5.5 billion in net income.
Both Exxon Mobil and Chevron reported surging profit at a time when gas prices are going up again.
It’s easy for people to get mad at the oil companies when they see the price of gas continue to go up.
But economists said it’s important to remember that these oil companies don't set the gas prices.
Still, these large profits they're making could motivate lawmakers to step in.
"It's getting pretty rough, where you balance if you pay gas or pay another bill," driver Charles Minor said.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular is $3.96.
That's up eight or nine cents from Thursday and 16 cents from a month ago.
"I wish I could say it's shocking news, but it's not. We know we're in an inflationary spiral right now," SMU economist Mike Davis said.
The price increase comes on the heels of the two largest U.S. companies, Exxon Mobil and Chevron, reporting billions in profits.
Still, Irving-based Exxon Mobil said profits were lower than expected due to abandoning its operations in Russia.
"Exxon doesn't control the price of gasoline. They may benefit over the short time when prices go up, just like any firm would benefit," Davis explained.
The two companies said they were increasing their oil and natural gas production in the U.S., but not to the extent that the Biden Administration had hoped, which would help lower high energy prices.
In the past, big oil companies have been hesitant to ramp up domestic production on concern that they may not recoup the cost.
Instead, Exxon announced it would buy back more of its own shares with a bulk of the profits.
"I would not be surprised if, with these reports, that members of Congress start calling for hearings to understand what's going on here with these extraordinary profits," said economist Brian Marks, who is an energy expert.
He said it would be in the company’s best interest to use their profits to explore or invest in alternative fuels
Meanwhile, he added that three states, Connecticut, Maryland, and Georgia, are taking steps to help motorists save a little.
"Instituted excise gas tax holidays to alleviate some pressure at the pump for consumers of gasoline in their respective states. It's an interesting dynamic that's coming to play here," Marks said.
"With the pandemic and the war, this is the price we're going to have to pay for a while," one driver said.
Marks said that if lawmakers steps in, they could impose an excise profits ta" on oil companies.
He cautions against government overreach.
Consumers are just looking for a little relief at the pump.