Saudi Aramco has reported its highest quarterly earnings since listing its shares in 2019 as the world’s largest oil exporter took advantage of rising oil prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The state-backed net income rose to $ 39.5 billion in the first three months of the year, up 82 percent from the same quarter last year. Record profits exceeded analysts’ average estimates of $ 38.5 billion and rose from $ 30.4 billion in the last three months of 2021.
The Saudi oil company and its international competitors such as BP, Shell and ExxonMobil have it all benefited from disrupting global energy flows caused by the war in Ukraine, which pushed oil, gas and refining prices.
Brent crude, an international benchmark, reached a 14-year high of $ 139 a barrel in March and is now trading at around $ 110 a barrel, about two-thirds higher than where it traded a year ago.
Aramco, which last week overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company, said the results were backed by higher oil prices and sales volumes, as well as improved margins on refining.
“Energy security is vital and we are investing in the long term, expanding our oil and gas production capacity to meet expected demand growth,” said Aramco CEO Amin Nasser.
The company maintained its dividends, now one of the largest payments in the world, pledging to return to shareholders another $ 18.8 billion in the second quarter. Payment is a vital source of income for the Saudi government, which still owns 94 percent of Saudi Aramco. In December 2019, a part of the company’s shares was transferred to it and another 4% was transferred Sovereign Wealth Fund of Saudi Arabia this year.
Saudi Aramco’s capital expenditures for the first quarter were $ 7.6 billion. The state-backed group said it expects capital expenditures of $ 40-50 billion in 2022 compared to $ 31.9 billion last year, with further growth expected by about the middle of the decade.
The transfer, which the company defines as a measure of the degree of debt financing, fell to 8 percent from 14.2 percent in December.