Exxon’s plastics business is turning record profits

Oil companies posted bumper earnings for the second quarter of 2021, mainly thanks to the highest oil prices in half a decade, which were in turn driven by the post-pandemic return of air and road travel, and a dispute over production quotas among OPEC member states.

Royal Dutch Shell’s adjusted earnings amounted to $5.5 billion in the second quarter, it announced on July 29, compared to $638 million in the same period last year. For French major Total, the figures were $3.5 billion compared to $126 million. Flush with cash for the first time in recent memory, both companies announced plans to buy back a combined $2.8 billion in shares, a reward for investors who have stuck with the companies through the collapse of their share prices throughout 2020. And on July 30, Chevron followed suit, posting its best quarter since 2019 and also launching a multibillion-dollar share buyback.

Things are finally looking up for Exxon

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