The Saudi Arabian oil company, Saudi Aramco, obtained a profit of 160,000 million dollars (150,300 million euros) in 2022, the highest profits obtained to date worldwide by a listed company. Behind this unprecedented result is the escalation in hydrocarbon prices after the invasion of Ukraine.
Saudi Aramco not only took advantage of the rise in raw materials, but also of the sanctions against Russia, which limited the sale of its oil in Western countries. China is increasing its activity after lifting strong restrictions this year to contain the pandemic, and the Saudi oil company plans to increase its production to take advantage of this trend.
Aramco’s profits, up 45% from the previous year, are enough to lift Saudi Arabia’s GDP, which last year grew 8.7%, according to government estimates, outperforming any another G-20 country. The CEO of the company, Amin H. Nasser, assured that the profits will serve to stabilize the region.
11.5 million barrels of oil per day
“Oil and gas will continue to be critical going forward and the risks of not investing enough in this industry are real, including those related to price increases,” said Nasser, whose company produced 11.5 million barrels of crude per year. day and expects to reach 13 million in 2027.
To boost activity, which consolidates Saudi Arabia as the world’s number one oil producer, the company plans to invest up to $55 billion this year.
Dividends for a megalomaniac project in the desert
The dividends will allow the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to develop his great project of a futuristic city in the middle of the desert, known as Neom and with a budget of 500,000 million dollars.
The country’s government also wants to launch a new airline, called Riyadh Air and announced this weekend with the aim of reaching a hundred destinations by 2030, and investing in low-carbon technologies with which to overcome the eventual turn of the international economy towards more sustainable solutions.
High energy prices have triggered inflation around the world and are straining relations between the country and the United States. Saudi Arabia is acquiring great strategic weight in the region and initiating its own international relations agenda, which includes the resumption of relations with Iran after years of hostility.
US pressures OPEC not to cut production yet
The Biden Administration is pressuring OPEC to postpone its intention to cut oil production, which will push prices up again. A barrel is trading at 82 dollars, but last year it exceeded 120 dollars.
Saudi Aramco has the Saudi State as its great owner, since the part that has been listed on the stock market since December 2019 is equivalent to just 1.7% of the capital. Its benefits exceed those obtained jointly by the rest of the big oil companies, which are Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, TotalEnergies and BP, of 151,000 million dollars.
According to the Institute of International Finance, for every $10 increase in the price of the neighborhood, Saudi Arabia brings in an additional $40 billion a year. The stock market value of the oil company is currently 1.9 trillion dollars.
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