Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, reported on Sunday net income of $39.5 billion for the first quarter of 2022, a jump of about 80 percent from the same period a year earlier, largely reflecting higher oil prices.
Oil and natural gas prices have soared in recent months because of tight markets as conditions from the pandemic eased. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, sanctions have reduced Russian oil output and increased worries about potential shortages.
Saudi Aramco is benefiting from the overall situation, reaping added profit as energy prices rise. Over the last year oil prices have nearly doubled, with Brent crude at $111 a barrel on Friday, up from about $60 in spring 2021.
Unlike Western counterparts like Shell and Exxon Mobil, which face shareholder demands to address global warming, the Saudi company is almost entirely government owned and is under little pressure to reduce output and carbon dioxide emissions.
In fact, Aramco, along with ADNOC, Abu Dhabi’s national oil company, calculates that it can take advantage of the pressure on Western companies.
“Against the backdrop of increased volatility in global markets, we remain focused on helping meet the world’s demand for energy,” Aramco’s chief executive, Amin H. Nasser, said in a statement on Sunday.
“We are investing for the long term, expanding our oil and gas production capacity to meet anticipated demand growth,” Mr. Nasser added.
But as gasoline prices have climbed, contributing to rising inflation, Saudi Arabia has largely shrugged off requests from Washington to quicken its program of gradual production increases agreed with OPEC and other oil producers last summer.
The company said it would keep its dividend for the quarter unchanged at $18.8 billion. Most of the money will go to the government, which owns almost all the shares of the company, which was listed on the Saudi Tadawul exchange in 2019.
As previously announced, Aramco is awarding a bonus share for every 10 shares.