ExxonMobil just fell short of setting a world record for annual profit in 2012. Full-year earnings at the No 1 US oil company stood at $44.9 billion and while this was up 9 per cent from 2011, it was still $300 million short of its all-time annual earnings record for any company, which ExxonMobil posted in 2008, when it earned $45.2 billion.
The US energy major earned around $10 billion in the last three months of the year, 6 per cent higher from a year earlier.
Gas prices were up throughout 2012, reaching a record annual average of $3.60 a gallon for regular gas, according to AAA -- although the peak fell short of the one-day record of $4.114 a gallon set in July 2008.
Exxon Mobil earnings exceeded that the second-most profitable US company, Apple, which earned $41.7 billion in the latest fiscal year that ended in September.
However, earnings at Apple rose much faster than ExxonMobil, climbing 61 per cent from the previous fiscal year. January saw ExxonMobil regain the title of the world's most valuable company when its market capitalisation topped Apple.
Annual revenue at Exxon Mobile slid down by $4.1 billion to $482.3 billion.