Saudi Aramco reports 46% jump in profits for 2022
Saudi Aramco reported on Sunday that profits jumped 46 percent last year, highlighting how a surge in oil prices after Russia invaded Ukraine spurred growth in the world's biggest crude exporter.
The mostly state-owned energy giant, the world's second most valuable company behind Apple, said in a filing with the Saudi stock market that net income for 2022 was $161.07 billion, up from $110 billion in 2021.
The increase was "predominantly due to the impact of higher crude oil prices and volumes sold, and stronger refining margins," it said.
Aramco's results are consistent with record profits for 2022 reported by the five oil majors –- Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and TotalEnergies -- which surpassed $150 billion and would have been closer to $200 billion without costly withdrawals from Russia.
They also fuelled 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 stay elevated in 2023, in part because of production cuts approved last October by the OPEC+ cartel that Riyadh co-leads with Moscow -- a move harshly criticised by Washington.
Aramco's facilities have in the past suffered drone 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 Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler, Saudi Arabia 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.