Saudi Aramco profits soar as global rebound from Covid sparks oil price rally: State-backed energy firm makes £22bn in three months to September
- This was more than double the £8.6bn brought in during same quarter of 2020
- The company was worth £1.5trillion as shares neared an all-time high of 38 riyals
- Its stock tumbled to lows of 29 riyals last March
- Aramco’s quarterly profits were the highest since it went public in late 2019
Saudi Aramco profits soared as the global rebound from Covid sparked an oil price rally.
The state-backed energy firm made £22billion in the three months to September. This was more than double the £8.6billion it brought in during the same quarter of 2020 – when many countries were still in lockdown.
The company was worth £1.5trillion last night as shares in the group came within touching distance of the all-time high of 38 riyals (740p). Its stock tumbled to lows of 29 riyals last March.
Aramco’s quarterly profits were the highest since the company went public in late 2019.
Oil nosedived last year as the pandemic ground international travel to a halt, took cars off the road and temporarily closed down factories. But vaccine rollouts and a rebound in the global economy have seen prices hit eight-year highs.
The value of a barrel of crude has rocketed from lows of around $19 in April 2020 to $84 now.
Aramco did not use blockbuster profits from the third quarter to increase its dividend – sticking to its commitment to hand out £13.4billion to shareholders. Its bumper numbers come as global leaders meet in Glasgow for the Cop26 summit to discuss creating a world beyond fossil fuels.
Boss Amin Nasser said the company’s ‘exceptional’ performance was driven by the ‘rebound in energy demand’ worldwide. Aramco pumped out around 9.5m barrels of oil a day during the three months – or around 10 per cent of global daily consumption.
Despite calls for the world to cut down on the use of fossil fuels, Aramco plans to steadily increase production to around 13m barrels a day by 2027.
It has also laid out plans for its operations to be net zero carbon – meaning the emissions produced are fully offset – by 2050.
And it said it has a 30 per cent stake in a vast solar plant, Sudair, which will start producing power next year.
All major oil companies are under pressure to speed up their switch to green energy.
Royal Dutch Shell – which posted disappointing results last week – has come under fire from activist investor Third Point.
The US hedge fund is calling for Shell to split into multiple companies – formally separating its oil and renewables businesses, though Shell maintains the only way to fund its renewables transformation is to use oil money.
Rival BP will tomorrow reveal its third-quarter performance in a trading update.
Around one in eight barrels of oil are pumped out by Saudi Aramco and it reckons its reserves could last another 52 years.
The company’s history dates back to 1933, when an agreement was signed between Saudi Arabia and the Standard Oil Company of California, which later became Chevron.