Saudi oil giant sees earnings jump more than 80% as prices surge

Saudi oil giant sees earnings jump more than 80% as prices surge

Saudi Aramco has published its biggest earnings since its 2019 listing as oil and gas prices surge around the world.

The state-owned energy giant saw an 82% jump in profits, with net income topping $39.5bn, £32.2bn, in the first quarter.

In a press release, the company said it had been enhanced by bigger prices, as well as an increase in production.

The invasion of Ukraine has seen oil and gas prices skyrocket.

Russia is one of the world's biggest exporters but Western nations have pledged to cut their reliance on the country for energy.

Oil prices were already rising before the Ukraine war as economies commenced to regain from the Covid pandemic and demand outstripped supply.

Other energy companies including Shell, BP and TotalEnergies have also reported ascending profits as a result, although many are incurring costs exiting operations in Russia.

Aramco's president and chief executive, Amin Nasser, said on Sunday that the company was "focused on helping meet the world's demand for energy that is reliable, affordable and increasingly sustainable".

"Energy security is vital and we are investing for the long-term," he added.

In March, the oil and gas producer pledged to ramp up investment and increase output significantly over the next five to eight years.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the world's biggest oil exporter that month to try to convince it to release more oil into world markets in the short-term.

Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in the oil cartel Opec, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and by boosting production it could help to lessen energy prices.

But the country has been condemned for a range of human rights abuses: its involvement in the conflict in neighbouring Yemen, the murder in 2018 of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, for jailing dissidents and for extensive use of capital punishment.

Aramco itself also faces security challenges because of the conflict in Yemen, with Huthi rebels targeting some of its sites and temporarily knocking out a big portion of the kingdom's crude production.

Its latest set of results come days after Aramco reclaimed the top spot as the world's most valuable company from Apple for the first time in almost two years.

Aramco also announced on Sunday it would issue 20 billion bonus shares to shareholders one share for every 10 shares already owned

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