Oil giant Saudi Aramco will post a historic $161 billion profit in 2022. WGN Radio 720

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Oil giant Saudi Aramco reported on Sunday that it made $161 billion last year, accusing it of recording the highest annual profit ever for a publicly traded company, prompting criticism from activists. collected.

Officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Company, the company’s huge profits came on the back of rising energy prices after Russia launched a war with Ukraine in February 2022. .

Aramco also wants to ramp up production to take advantage of market demand as China re-enters global markets after lifting coronavirus restrictions. could raise the billions needed to develop plans to develop futuristic cityscapes to keep Saudi Arabia away from oil.

But these plans come despite growing international concern over the burning of fossil fuels that accelerate climate change. Meanwhile, rising energy prices are already straining relations between Riyadh and Washington and causing inflation globally.

Saudi Aramco CEO and President Amin H. Nasser said in a statement:

Earnings increased 46.5% compared to the company’s 2021 performance of $110 billion. The company made $49 billion in 2020, as the world faced the worst of the coronavirus pandemic’s lockdowns, travel disruptions and temporarily negative oil prices.

Aramco said it hoped to produce about 11.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in 2022 and reach 13 million barrels per day by 2027.

To boost its production, the company plans to spend up to $55 billion on capital projects this year.

Aramco also announced a dividend of $19.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022, to be paid out in the first quarter of this year.

Considered a pioneer in the global energy market, Aramco’s performance reflects the fact that 2022 saw huge gains for the likes of British energy giant BP, American Exxon Mobil and Shell. Results, records by Apple, Vodafone, Federal Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae.

Benchmark Brent crude currently trades at around $82 a barrel, but was above $120 a barrel in June. Aramco, whose fortunes depend on global energy prices, announced that it achieved its record profit of $42.4 billion in the third quarter of 2022 on the back of soaring prices.

These high prices have further strained relations between the United States and the Kingdom, which have traditionally guaranteed security among Gulf Arab states amid tensions with Iran. Ahead of the election, he said the Biden administration was trying to delay decisions by OPEC and its allies, including Russia. region.

President Joe Biden had warned the kingdom that “whatever they’ve done will have some consequences” regarding oil prices. , these results have not yet been seen. US gas prices now average $3.47 a gallon, down just $1 from last year.

For the kingdom, higher oil prices could help boost Prince Mohammed’s dreams. This includes his planned $500 billion futuristic desert city project, Neom. But he also opposes activist concerns about climate change, especially as his COP28 climate talks at the UN kick off this November in neighboring United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia, like China and Russia, has committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2060, but plans to reach that goal remain unclear. In October, she launched a $1.5 billion sustainability fund and also plans carbon capture and storage facilities, according to Aramco’s earnings report.

Agnès Calamar, Executive Director of Amnesty International, criticized Aramco’s annual gains amid global concerns about climate change.

“It’s shocking that companies make more than $161 billion in profits in a single year through the sale of fossil fuels, the single biggest contributor to the climate crisis,” she said in a statement. “This surplus is all the more shocking because it was built up during the global cost of living crisis and fueled by rising energy prices resulting from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”

Callamard also noted that while Saudi Arabia remains one of the world’s top executioners, Yemen remains trapped in years of war and cracking down on dissent.

“These tremendous profits, and future income from Aramco, should not be used to finance, cover up, or cover up human rights violations,” she said.

Located near the surface of a vast desert, Saudi Arabia’s vast oil reserves make it one of the cheapest places in the world to produce crude oil. According to the Institute of International Finance, Saudi Arabia earns $40 billion a year for every $10 a barrel rise in oil prices.

Aramco shares were at $8.74 before Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange opened on Sunday. That’s down from last year’s high of $11.55 a share for him. But its current price still gives Aramco a $1.9 trillion valuation, making it the second most valuable company in the world after Apple.

The Saudi government still owns most of the company’s shares. Saudi Aramco disclosed some of its value in late 2019.

Aramco will release a comprehensive earnings report on Monday.


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