Energy giant Saudi Aramco reported a 124% rise in net profit in 2021 on Sunday from 2020, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, hours after renewed attacks by rebels in neighboring Yemen on its facilities.
Saudi Aramco made a net profit of $110 billion (99 billion euros) in 2021, compared to $49 billion in 2020, according to a press release from the group. The Saudi energy giant had announced a net profit of 88.2 billion dollars in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit the markets with considerable losses for the oil and aviation sectors in particular.
Aramco’s earnings announcement came amid tight oil markets, with oil prices rising sharply following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And a few hours after a new attack by Houthi rebels against Aramco facilities in southern Saudi Arabia, a country which leads a military coalition supporting Yemeni power against Houthi rebels supported by Iran. According to this coalition, Saudi anti-aircraft defenses intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile and nine drones, but booby-trapped missiles and drones hit their targets: a water desalination plant, an Aramco distribution station, a power plant and a gas plant in the South, as well as an Aramco gas liquefaction plant in the West.
The attacks as well as bursts of drone caused “material damage to installations and homes”, according to her. Yemeni rebels claimed responsibility for drone and missile attacks on “vital and important” establishments, including Aramco infrastructure. The official Saudi press agency SPA published images of fires in buildings that firefighters were trying to put out, as well as destroyed vehicles and a crater on the ground.
The world’s largest crude oil exporter, Aramco was floated on the Riyadh Stock Exchange in December 2019. In a statement, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser highlighted “an exceptional year 2021 for Aramco from the perspective of financial and operational results, initiatives, achievements and investments to come despite the challenges and the difficult global context due to the pandemic”. “These good results demonstrate our budgetary discipline, our flexibility in the face of changing market conditions and the focus on our long-term growth strategy,” he said.
“While economic conditions have improved significantly, the outlook remains uncertain due to various macro-economic and geopolitical factors. But our investment plan aims to harness long-term demand for reliable, affordable and always-on energy. safer and more sustainable,” said Nasser. “We recognize that energy security is essential for billions of people around the world, which is why we continue to make progress, increasing our crude oil production capacity, executing our gas expansion program and increasing our ability to transform liquids into chemicals.”
Since Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) was named crown prince in 2017, the kingdom has sought to diversify its overly oil-dependent economy, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the wealthy Gulf monarchy’s sovereign wealth fund, investing in various sectors nationally and globally.
In February, the kingdom “transferred” 4% of Aramco shares to the PIF representing 80 billion dollars (70 billion euros), an operation aimed at “supporting the restructuring of the national economy”. MBS had indicated in April 2021 that Aramco was considering selling 1% of its shares to a foreign energy giant.
Crude prices are above $100 a barrel, largely due to the invasion of Ukraine which has affected world oil supplies as Moscow is hit by Western sanctions. The Gulf Arab monarchies are resisting Western pressure to increase production, affirming their commitment to the OPEC+ alliance of exporting countries led by Riyadh and Moscow, the biggest gas producer and one of the biggest oil producers.
Energy giant Saudi Aramco reported a 124% rise in net profit in 2021 on Sunday from 2020, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, hours after renewed attacks by rebels in neighboring Yemen on its facilities.Saudi Aramco posted net profit of $110 billion (€99 billion) in 2021, compared to $49 billion…