The previous record for annual profit was $39.5 billion, which Exxon Mobil made in 2006.
Crude prices reached an all-time trading high of $100.09 on Jan. 3 but have fallen about 10 percent since.
Also extraordinary was Exxon Mobil‘s revenue, which rose 30 percent in the fourth quarter to $116.6 billion from $90 billion a year ago.
In a statement, Exxon Mobil Chairman Rex Tillerson said the company continued to meet the world‘s energy needs through its "globally diverse resource base."
Exxon Mobil produces about 3 percent of the world‘s oil.
Higher commodity prices in the quarter were clearly evident from earnings at Exxon Mobil‘s exploration and production arm, known as the upstream. Income rose 32 percent to $8.2 billion from $6.2 billion a year ago.
Refining and marketing, or downstream, earnings were $2.3 billion, up from nearly 2 billion in the year-ago quarter, as improved refining operations offset lower U.S. refining margins.
Refining margins — the difference between the cost of crude and what the company makes on refined products such as gasoline — have been squeezed in recent months as spiking oil prices outpaced increases in gasoline prices and other refined products.
ConocoPhillips is the nation‘s third-largest integrated oil company behind Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp.
Chevron reporrted separately Friday its profit rose 29.2 percent in the fourth quarter, as surging prices for crude oil offset weak results from its refining business. It earned $4.88 billion, or $2.32 per share, from $3.77 billion, or $1.74 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 29 percent to $61.41 billion from $47.75 billion.
On Thursday, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe‘s largest oil company, reported fourth-quarter profit rose 60 percent to $8.47 billion on asset sales and higher oil prices. What‘s more, the Anglo-Dutch company said full-year net profit was a company record $31.3 billion, up 23 percent from the prior year.