A huge amount of the energy used to do work in an ICE is lost, either through cooling or out the tailpipe. Obviously, if one could economically recover a portion of that energy, what was a net gain to the oil companies and a loss to the consumer becomes the opposite.
The key here is, "economically" which is related to, but not the same as "efficiently." As long as there is an energy recovery that can b put to net beneficial use, and the value of that recovered resource exceeds the cost of doing so, the laws of economics trump the laws of thermodynamics.
Remember, it's about the conservation of capital, not the conservation of energy. Otherwise, we would all be burning coal.