Oil company Saudi Aramco announced on Sunday that it made a record profit of $48.4 billion in the second quarter of 2022, an increase of 90.2% compared to the same period last year, thanks to the increase in oil prices in the context of the war. in Ukraine.
The announcement is a continuation of good news for the Saudi economy, the largest in the Middle East, which posted growth of about 12 percent in the second quarter on an annual basis, the fastest in a decade in the biggest exporter. black gold in the world thanks to record revenues from the oil sector.
The giant company said in a statement that it achieved an increase in its quarterly net income by 90.2%, “from 95.5 billion riyals (25.5 billion dollars) in the second quarter of 2021 to 181.16 billion riyals (48.4 billion dollars). dollars) in the second. quarter of 2022.
He attributed it to “the rise in crude oil prices, the increase in the quantities sold and the high profit margins of the refining sector.”
The company continued to post record quarterly earnings for the second consecutive quarter, following earnings of $39.5 billion in the first quarter.
This quarterly gain is the highest since 1.7 percent of the company’s shares went public in the world’s largest public offering in late 2019 and beat analyst expectations of $46.2 billion. .
Saudi Aramco Chairman and CEO Amin Nasser said: “Despite continued volatility and uncertainty in global markets, events in the first half of this year confirm our view that continued investment in the energy sector is necessary to help guarantee the continuous supply of markets and facilitate the process of orderly transformation of energy”.
“We expect oil demand to continue to grow for the rest of the current decade, despite negative economic pressures on the near-term global outlook,” it added.
The net profit for the second quarter increased by 22.7% compared to the first quarter of this year.
Half-year earnings were $87.91 billion, compared to $47.18 billion in the same period last year.
Aramco’s share price hit 40.8 riyals ($10.9) at the start of trading on the Saudi Stock Exchange on Sunday.
The company distributed an $18.8 billion dividend to shareholders in the first quarter and will also pay the same amount in the second quarter.
Aramco, “the jewel in the crown” of the Kingdom, is one of the pillars of the financing of the ambitious project of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to diversify the sources of his country’s oil-dependent economy.
Saudi Arabia achieved economic growth of about 12 percent in the second quarter of this year on an annual basis.
It also posted second-quarter revenue growth of its budget of 49 percent year over year, with a surplus of about $21 billion. This huge increase was fueled by an 89% rise in oil revenues compared to the same period last year.
Saudi Arabia has benefited from high oil prices caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has resisted Western requests to increase black gold production in an effort to curb its prices.
Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product is expected to grow 7.6 percent in 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Ibrahim Al-Ghitani, an energy expert based in Abu Dhabi, said that “Saudi Arabia is finally achieving financial surpluses that it did not achieve during the last decade, which helps provide financing for development projects submitted in accordance with Vision 2030”, which it was proposed by the Crown Prince in 2016.
He promised that the recent increase in oil prices is “a golden opportunity for Saudi Arabia to achieve the accumulation of funds to invest in sovereign wealth funds or to inject them into the Saudi economy in accordance with development plans.”
Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates confirmed their commitment to the OPEC Plus oil alliance led by Riyadh and Moscow, underscoring Riyadh and Abu Dhabi’s growing independence from ally Washington.
Aramco became the latest major oil company to make big bucks after companies ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, Eni and Total Energy revealed huge profits of billions of dollars.
Oil was on the agenda at US President Joe Biden’s meeting with UK leaders in the middle of last month, but the visit ended without an agreement to increase production.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in March to pressure the leaders of the two Gulf countries to increase production.
Earlier this month, representatives of OPEC’s thirteen member states, led by Riyadh, and its ten partners, led by Moscow, agreed to a very modest increase in production, “by 100,000 barrels per day during the month of September.” . “
Oil prices have fallen about $30 a barrel from record prices in June as output gradually ramped up, but remain hovering around $100 a barrel.
Aramco was facing security challenges in light of the ongoing confrontation in Yemen between the Saudi-led military coalition and Houthi rebels, who repeatedly attacked the company’s oil facilities across the country, in particular successive drone strikes in March. past.
However, these attacks ceased completely with the entry into force of a truce in Yemen in April, which was renewed twice to continue until early next October.
But Nasser emphasized in a briefing for journalists that “all (Aramco) facilities are operating and producing at full capacity” after “a few weeks” of these attacks.