August 3, 2022--Written by John Egan for Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)--Four of the world's largest integrated oil supermajors posted blockbuster earnings in the second quarter, driven by a combination of higher oil and gas prices, increased production, rising demand, strong downstream margins, operating cost reductions and disciplined capital spending. Cash flow from operations shot up, and some of that incremental cash went to pay down debt. <a href='https://www.shell.com/' target='_blank'>Shell plc</a> (<a href='https://www.nyse.com/quote/XNYS:SHEL' target='_blank'>NYSE:SHEL</a>) (London, England) announced a $6 billion stock buyback program, to be completed this year. <a href=' https://www.bp.com/' target='_blank'>BP plc</a> (<a href='https://www.nyse.com/quote/XNYS:BP' target='_blank'>NYSE: BP</a>) (London) increased its dividend 10% and expanded its existing stock buyback program. To varying degrees, the integrated supermajors also touted their investments in low-carbon and carbon-sequestration businesses. The integrated supermajors--<a href='https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/' target='_blank'>ExxonMobil Corporation</a> (<a href='https://www.nyse.com/quote/XNYS:XOM' target='_blank'>NYSE:XOM</a>) (Irving, Texas), <a href=' https://www.chevron.com/' target='_blank'>Chevron Corporation</a> (<a href='https://www.nyse.com/quote/XNYS:CVX' target='_blank'>NYSE:CVX</a>) (San Ramon, California), Shell and BP-- reported their quarterly earnings last week and this week. Each company's stock rose as stockholders welcomed the better-than-expected results. Several companies plumped quarterly earnings with the sale of peripheral assets; results also were affected by non-recurring gains and losses, some of which were tied to hedging or foreign exchange conversions.