The Saudi-owned energy giant, Aramco, on Sunday reported an increase of 46 per cent in its profits last year,highlighting how a surge in oil prices after Russia invaded Ukraine spurred growth in the world’s biggest crude exporter.
The world’s second most valuable company behind Apple, said in its filing with the Saudi stock exchange that the company’s net income for 2022 was $161.07 billion, up from $110 billion in 2021, reported news agency AFP.
The jump was “predominantly due to the impact of higher crude oil prices and volumes sold, and stronger refining margins,” it said.
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As per the report, Aramco’s results are consistent with record profits for 2022 reported by the five oil majors — Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and TotalEnergies — which crossed $150 billion and would have been closer to $200 billion without costly withdrawals from Russia.
They also accelerated Saudi Arabia’s overall economic growth which officials put at 8.7 percent in 2022, the highest rate in the G20.
Energy prices are expected to remain high in 2023, partly because of production cuts approved last October by the OPEC+ cartel that Riyadh co-leads with Moscow — a move harshly criticised by Washington.
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In the past Aramco’s facilities have suffered drone attacks and missile attacks claimed by Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels, most recently about a year ago, but a surprise deal announced on Friday between Riyadh and Tehran to restore diplomatic ties severed in 2016 could mitigate the risk in the months to come.
Under Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom has sought both to open up and diversify its oil-reliant economy, spending heavily on much-hyped projects like a futuristic megacity known as NEOM.