Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, reported an 82% rise in quarterly profits to a new record high of $39.5bn (£32.2bn), boosted by an increase in demand and higher crude prices.
The company, which last week overtook technology group Apple to become the world’s most valuable company, said it would pay an $18.8bn (£15.3bn) dividend and distribute $4bn (£3.2bn) of free shares to its investors after the best. than expected performance.
Energy companies such as BP and Shell posted their highest profits in at least a decade due to rising commodity prices fueled by the unwinding of Covid-19 restrictions around the world and sanctions on Russia after his invasion of Ukraine.
Energy prices were also driven by strong demand for gas in Asia and a cold winter in 2020 that depleted supplies, leaving inventories low as temperatures plummeted in the northern hemisphere last year.
Profits rose despite many groups being hit by the exit of investment in Russia, with Brent prices soaring nearly 70% to $107.91 (£87.99) a barrel in March compared to the previous year.
Earlier this month BP said its profits had more than doubled to $6.2bn (£5bn) in the first three months of the year. Shell reported record quarterly profit of $9.1bn (£7.3bn) for the first three months of the year.
OPEC+, the producer group that includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Russia, agreed this month to a modest increase in its monthly oil production target, but said it would not It was not possible for other producers to replace Russian exports of more than 7 million barrels. one day.
Aramco has a particularly low cost of production because much of its oil is in fields that are easy to exploit onshore or in shallow water. This increases the profitability of the company, which is still 95% owned by the Saudi government.
Amin H Nasser, chairman and chief executive of Aramco, said the company was helping to meet global demand for reliable and affordable energy amid “increased volatility”.
“Energy security is vital and we are investing for the long term, expanding our oil and gas production capacity to meet projected demand growth,” he said.
“As we work with national and international partners to explore new and emerging technologies and solutions, from developing cleaner transportation technologies to establishing low-emission 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.