LONDON, 19th February, 2024 - European and US oil and gas majors have made profits of more than a quarter of a trillion dollars since Russia invaded Ukraine, according to a new analysis by Global Witness marking two years since the conflict began.  

After posting record gains in 2022 off the back of soaring energy prices, the big five fossil fuel companies paid shareholders an unprecedented $111 billion in 2023. In the hottest year ever recorded, this figure is some 158 times what was pledged to vulnerable nations at last year’s COP28 climate summit.

In total, Shell, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies have paid $200 billion to shareholders since the invasion of Ukraine, funnelling cash to investors as more than 10,000 Ukrainian civilians were killed and millions of households across Europe struggled to keep the lights on. 

Conflict is at the heart of this profit and cash handout bonanza for the fossil fuel producers. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made already high wholesale gas prices skyrocket, driving historic gains for oil and gas producers. So much so, that 2022 saw US President Biden accuse the industry of “war profiteering” while UN Secretary-General Guterres warned that the companies “have humanity by the throat”.    

UK-based Shell and BP have made £75 billion profit between them while Ukraine has been mired in conflict. This would be enough to cover all of Britain’s household electricity bills for 17 consecutive months – all the way until July 2025.  

Shell last year walked back on a commitment to reduce oil output this decade while planning to fire some 200 staff from its green jobs division. BP meanwhile cut its emissions reduction pledge, at a time when greenhouse gas emissions are at their highest in history. 

Chevron and ExxonMobil have made $136 billion combined profit since Russia’s invasion. If Chevron’s $53-billion purchase of Hess and ExxonMobil’s $60-billion takeover of Pioneer attains government approval, their combined emissions will balloon by more than 20 percent, emitting more carbon annually than Brazil, Australia, and Spain combined. 

And TotalEnergies’ €15 billion payout to shareholders would more than cover the €10 billion in damages caused by French storms and droughts in 2022 – storms made more likely by the very oil and gas Total sells.  

  • Big five oil and gas firms have raked in total profits of more than $281 billion since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, analysis shows. 
  • An unprecedented $200 billion of this was paid to investors, missing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in green energy and jobs.
  • UK-based majors Shell and BP’s profits during the war could cover the cost of Britain’s household electricity bills until July 2025 

Patrick Galey, senior fossil fuels investigator at Global Witness, said:  

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been devastating for millions of people, from ordinary Ukrainians living under the shadow of war, to the households across Europe struggling to heat their homes.  

“This analysis shows that regardless of what happens on the front lines, the fossil fuel majors are the main winners of the war in Ukraine. They have amassed untold wealth off the back of death, destruction, and spiralling energy prices.  

“They are now spending their gains on investor handouts and ever more oil and gas production, which Europe doesn’t need and the climate cannot take. This is yet another way in which the fossil fuel industry is failing customers and the planet.”  



  • Profits and shareholder payouts were taken from company reporting from the period beginning Q2 of 2022 to the end of Q4 2023 inclusive  
  • Calculations on added emissions due to ExxonMobil and Chevron purchases were based on Global Witness analysis of Rystad Energy data 
  • Calculations of domestic energy bills in Britain were based on the average household bill as of January 2024 being £1,834 and ONS data showing 28.2 million households    
This table displays the quarterly profits in billions of USD for each company and the total of all their profits combined.

This table displays the quarterly profits in billions of USD for each company and the total of all their profits combined since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.