Saudi oil giant Aramco sees profits soar by almost 300%

Saudi Arabian energy giant Aramco has seen its profits jump almost four times boosted by a rise in oil prices as demand recovers.

The company added that the easing of Covid restrictions, vaccinations, stimulus measures and the return of economic activity had supported results.

Crude oil prices have risen by more than 30% since the start of the year.

Aramco’s chief executive also gave an upbeat assessment for the rest of 2021.

The firm, which is the world’s biggest oil producer, said net income rose by 288% to $25.5bn (£18.4bn) for the second quarter.

“Our second-quarter results reflect a strong rebound in worldwide energy demand and we are heading into the second half of 2021 more resilient and more flexible, as the global recovery gains momentum,” Amin Nasser said in a statement.

However, the rise in profits was not welcomed by campaigners against climate change, who have described Aramco as the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitter.

According to some estimates, it is responsible for more than 4% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1965.

On Monday, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a major report that human activity was changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways.

The head of the UN, Secretary General António Guterres, said the report “is a code red for humanity”.

Among those reacting to the report was Nafkote Dabi of Oxfam, who said it provided “the most compelling wake-up call yet for global industry to switch from oil, gas and coal to renewables”.

Crude prices

Aramco is the latest major energy firm to report strong results in recent weeks.

Last month, US energy giant Exxon Mobil posted a rise in income of $4.7bn in the second quarter, compared to a loss of more than $1bn for the same period last year.

European rival Royal Dutch Shell reported its highest quarterly profit in more than two years.

With economies easing Covid restrictions and opening up, global demand is recovering, boosting the price of oil.

Brent crude has also been boosted to around $70 a barrel after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group known as Opec+, agreed to cut oil production.

However, higher crude oil prices will have a knock-on effect on drivers as they push up the cost of petrol.

Last week the UK motoring body, the RAC, said that country’s petrol prices were at an eight-year-high after nine straight months of rises.

“Prices really are only going one way at the moment – and that’s not the way drivers want to see them going,” warned RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams.