Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, has revealed an 82% increase in quarterly profits to a new record $ 39.5 billion (£ 32.2 billion), boosted by increased demand and higher crude oil prices.
The company, which last week passed the technology group Apple to become the world’s most valuable company, said it would pay a dividend of $ 18.8 billion (£ 15.3 billion) and deliver $ 4 billion in bonus shares to its investors after that. better performance than expected.
Energy companies such as BP and Shell have delivered their highest profits in at least a decade as a result of rising commodity prices driven by the abolition of Covid-1[ads1]9 restrictions around the world and sanctions against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
Energy prices have also been driven by strong demand in Asia for gas and a cold winter in 2020 that depleted supplies, leaving inventories low as temperatures fell in the northern hemisphere last year. Profits have risen despite many groups taking a step back from ending investment in Russia, as Brent oil prices rose almost 70% to $ 107.91 (£ 87.99) a barrel in March from a year earlier. for.
BP said this month that profits more than doubled to $ 6.2 billion (£ 5 billion) in the first three months of the year. Shell reported a record quarterly profit of $ 9.1 billion (£ 7.3 billion) for the first three months of the year.
OPEC +, the producer group that includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Russia, this month agreed to a modest increase in its monthly oil production target, but has said that it is not possible for other producers to replace Russian exports of more than 7 million barrels one day.
Aramco has particularly low production costs, since much of the oil is in fields that are easy to tap on land or in shallow water. It increases the profitability of the company, which is still 95% owned by the Saudi government.
Amin H Nasser, President and CEO of Aramco, said the company helped meet the world’s demand for reliable and affordable energy against a backdrop of “increased volatility”.
“Energy security is crucial, and we are investing in the long term, expanding our oil and gas production capacity to meet expected demand growth,” he said.
“As we work with national and international partners to explore new and emerging technologies and solutions, from the development of cleaner transport technologies to the establishment of low-carbon, hydrogen and ammonia value chains, I am more optimistic than ever about the positive contribution we can make. , both to our customers and to the ongoing global energy transition. “