Saudi Aramco’s Profit Jumps 90 Percent on High Oil Prices

Saudi Aramco, the giant oil producer, said on Sunday that its second-quarter profit jumped 90 percent over the same period a year ago, reaching $48.2 billion. It is the latest energy producer to report bumper earnings on the back of a surge in the price of oil.

Aramco, the national oil company for Saudi Arabia, said its earnings reflected increased demand for crude and higher refining profits. And the state-run company predicted that demand for oil would continue to grow through the rest of the decade.

The company has benefited from the growing need for energy as economic activity across the globe has picked up after the coronavirus pandemic dampened demand.

But oil producers are also profiting from the surge in prices that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

From late February through June, crude oil prices rose more than 36 percent, to nearly $120 a barrel, pushed in part by Western sanctions used to punish Russia. In recent weeks, major oil companies including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Shell, BP and TotalEnergies have recorded huge profits, often records.

The rising price of crude led to steep increases at the gas pump, with the average price per gallon briefly reaching above $5 in the United States.

Since June, oil prices have slipped lower, with Brent crude, the international benchmark, at $98 a barrel on Friday, and gas falling below $4 a gallon on average in the United States. But prices remain relatively high — a year ago, Brent was about $61 barrel — and there are growing concerns that major oil producers are nearing a limit in how much they can produce.

Aramco’s chief executive, Amin H. Nasser, seemed to address those worries on Sunday in the company’s statement.

“While global market volatility and economic uncertainty remain,” Mr. Nasser said, “events during the first half of this year support our view that ongoing investment in our industry is essential.”

He said that Aramco’s capital investment program, which increased 25 percent in its latest quarter, to $9.4 billion, was the largest in its history. “Our approach is to invest in the reliable energy and petrochemicals the world needs,” he said, while also pursing investments in renewable energy, including hydrogen.

Aramco said it would pay a dividend of $18.8 billion in the third quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter. Most of the money will go to the Saudi government, which owns almost all of the shares of the company, which has a market value of well over $2 trillion.

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