AFP, published on Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 11:24 am
Saudi oil giant Aramco on Sunday reported a record $48.4 billion profit for the second quarter, boosted by surging crude prices after Russia’s war in Ukraine and strong demand in the wake of the pandemic.
Net income is up 90% year-on-year, allowing the world’s largest black gold producer to post its second straight quarterly record after net income of $39.5 billion in January-March.
“As global market volatility and economic uncertainty persist, events in the first half of this year reinforce our view that continued investment in our industry is essential, both to ensure markets remain well-supplied and to enable an orderly energy transition said Amin, CEO of Aramco Nasser.
“Indeed, we expect oil demand to continue to grow for the remainder of the decade, despite downward pressure on near-term global forecasts,” he added.
Aramco’s net income for April-June rose 22.7% from the first quarter in “a strong market,” the Saudi Arabia-based company said in a statement. Net income for the first half had reached $87.91 billion, compared to $47.18 billion for the same period in 2021.
Aramco paid a dividend of $18.8 billion in the second quarter and will pay the same amount in the third quarter.
Second-quarter earnings, the highest since Aramco went public in late 2019, beat analysts’ forecasts of $46.2 billion.
Aramco took 1.7% of its shares public on the Saudi Stock Exchange in December 2019, raising $29.4 billion, the largest IPO in history.
The company, the conservative kingdom’s flagship and the Saudi state’s main source of income, temporarily ousted Apple as the world’s most valuable company in March before falling to second place.
– Demand will continue to increase –
Benefiting from rising oil prices, Saudi Arabia is expected to grow its gross domestic product (GDP) by 7.6% in 2022, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates released in April.
The Saudi kingdom has sought to open up and diversify its oil-heavy economy, particularly since the appointment of Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince and de facto ruler in 2017.
In early August, the International Energy Agency reported that global oil demand was set to grow more-than-expected this year as heatwaves and rising gas prices prompt countries to switch fuels for oil production.
Oil prices are down $30 a barrel from a June peak on increased supply but remain near the $100 mark.
The producing countries, which are members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), have gradually increased their output, while Western leaders are urging them to produce even more. Among them is American President Joe Biden, who traveled to Saudi Arabia in July.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also visited Saudi Arabia in March, shortly after Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.