Energy giant Saudi Aramco posted Sunday an 82 percent jump in first quarter profits, buoyed by the surge in oil prices that has made it the world’s most valuable company.
The announcement continued a string of recent positive economic news for Saudi Arabia, where a booming oil sector is fuelling the fastest growth rate in a decade.
Aramco’s net income of $39.5 billion was up from $21.7 billion in 2021, “primarily driven by higher crude oil prices and volumes sold, and improved downstream margins,” it said in a press release.
The latest financial results were published four days after Aramco dethroned Apple as the world’s most valuable company, with shares worth $2.42 trillion compared to Apple’s $2.37 trillion.
In March, Aramco reported a 124 percent net profit surge for 2021.
But the company, the kingdom’s “crown jewel” and a key source of government revenue, faces security challenges related to an ongoing war by a Saudi-led military coalition against Yemen’s Huthi rebels, who have repeatedly targeted the kingdom, including Aramco sites.
In 2019, Huthi-claimed aerial assaults on two Aramco facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia temporarily knocked out half of the kingdom’s crude production.
A March attack by the Huthis on Aramco facilities caused a “temporary” drop in production.
In early May, Saudi Arabia reported its fastest economic growth rate in a decade, as a booming oil sector fuelled a 9.6 percent rise in the first quarter over the same period of 2021.
The world’s biggest oil exporter has resisted US entreaties to raise output in an attempt to rein in prices that have spiked since the Ukraine war began.