The world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, reported $30.4 billion in third-quarter net income on Sunday, bolstered by a surge in oil prices and recovery in demand as the coronavirus pandemic eases.
Saudi Arabia’s majority state-owned oil giant Aramco, formally known as the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., said its net income more than doubled from $11.8 billion during the same three-month period a year earlier. Last year’s figure came after profits plunged dramatically as global lockdowns slammed oil prices. Net income refers to the amount left after taxes and preferred dividends have been paid.
Aramco CEO Amin Nasser described the company’s third-quarter results as “exceptional,” a result of “increased economic activity in key markets and a rebound in energy demand,” even as supply chain bottlenecks imperiled the global economic recovery.
The 158% spike in earnings follows the global loosening of virus-induced restrictions, tightening of gas supplies and acceleration of vaccination campaigns that have pushed prices of crude sharply higher. The price of international benchmark Brent crude was trading at over $83.50 a barrel on Sunday.
Consumers and companies are using more gasoline and airplane fuel as governments relax restrictions, leading to a rally across energy markets.
“We are optimistic that energy demand will remain healthy for the foreseeable future,” Nasser said.
Crude prices have been helped by production cuts made by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, a group known as OPEC+, which meets later this week.