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Saudi Aramco reports record $48.4B quarterly profits

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Saudi Aramco on Sunday reported record second-quarter earnings of $48.4 billion amid high oil prices and demand. File Photo courtesy of Saudi Aramco
Saudi Aramco on Sunday reported record second-quarter earnings of $48.4 billion amid high oil prices and demand. File Photo courtesy of Saudi Aramco

Aug. 14 (UPI) -- Aramco, the largely state-owned Saudi oil company, reported a 90% surge in second-quarter profits on Sunday.

Aramco reported $48.4 billion net income for the three-month period ending in June, thought to be one of the largest quarterly profits in history.

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The quarterly earnings were up nearly double from its $25.5 net income during the same period last year and above analysts' expectations of $46.2 billion.

It also reported half-year net income of $87.9 billion, widely surpassing other major oil companies including ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP.

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The Saudi Arabian government holds a 95% stake in Aramco and will take the majority of an $18.8 billion dividend set to be distributed before the end of October.

The company cited strong market conditions as a driving factor behind the earnings boom as oil prices rose as high as $130 per barrel earlier this year.

"Our record second-quarter results reflect increasing demand for our products -- particularly as a low-cost producer with one of the lowest upstream carbon intensities in the industry," Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser said.

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Gas prices, however, have begun to recede some, with the national average in the United States falling to $3.99 per gallon last week, falling below $4 for the first time since March. It went as high as $5.02 onJune 14.

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Nasser added Aramco expects post-pandemic recovery in oil demand to continue for the remainder of the decade despite "downward economic pressures on short-term global forecasts."

"While global market volatility and economic uncertainty remain, events during the first half of this year support our view that ongoing investment in our industry is essential -- both to help ensure markets remain well supplied and to facilitate an orderly energy transition," he said.

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The record profits for Aramco come after U.S. President Joe Biden faced criticism for being photographed fist-bumping Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a visit to the Middle East last month.

Lawmakers said Biden's actions indicated efforts to warm up to the oil-rich government despite Western intelligence indicating Mohammed was directly responsible for the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey in 2018.

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