Aramco, the mostly Saudi Arabian state-owned oil producer, announced its highest-ever annual profit figure for 2022 on Sunday, totaling $161.1 billion (€151.2 billion).
The bumper margin — up by some 46% on 2021 — highlights a surge in oil prices after Russia invaded Ukraine.
What’s behind the latest figures?
The business, known formally as the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. said the profits were the strongest since Aramco became a listed company in 2019.
The 2022 figure is nearly double the $88.2 billion that Aramco brought in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.
Aramco’s net income for 2022 is consistent with record profits reported by the world’s other major oil companies — Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, and TotalEnergies.
What has driven the profit increase?
Oil prices surged on the back of energy prices rises after Russia launched its war on Ukraine in February 2022, as sanctions against Moscow limited the sale of Russian oil and natural gas to Western markets.
Aramco’s profits would have been closer to $200 billion had it not been for costly business withdrawals from Russia.
Aramco — the second most valuable company in the world after Apple — announced the figures in a filing on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange.
The Saudi firm said the soaring profits were “predominantly due to the impact of higher crude oil prices and volumes sold, and stronger refining margins.”
In the report, Aramco said it hoped to increase its production to further capitalize on market demand.
Officials championed further investments in fossil fuel extraction to maintain energy security and to dampen spiking inflation and other economic woes.
“Given that we anticipate oil and gas will remain essential for the foreseeable future, the risks of underinvestment in our industry are real — including contributing to higher energy prices,” Aramco CEO and President Amin H. Nasser said in a statement.
Rights group questions soaring revenues
The record profit posting garnered a response from the human rights group Amnesty International, which said the money “should be used to fund a human rights-based transition to renewable energy.”
“It is shocking for a company to make a profit of more than $161 billion in a single year through the sale of fossil fuel — the single largest driver of the climate crisis,” said Amnesty’s Secretary-Genral Agnes Callamard.
“It is all the more shocking because this surplus was amassed during a global cost-of-living crisis and aided by the increase in energy prices resulting from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”
rc/ar (Reuters, AP, AFP)
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