Saudi Aramco’s net profit for 2021 exceeds pre-pandemic levels

The energy giant Saudi Aramco announced on Sunday a 124% increase in its net profit in 2021 compared to 2020, exceeding pre-pandemic levels, hours after new attacks by Yemeni rebels against its facilities.

One of these attacks against the YASREF refinery, in the city of Yanbu on the Red Sea, has caused “a temporary reduction in production”, which, however, will be “compensated by the stocks” stored, “said the Saudi ministry of Energy without further details.

In its results statement, Aramco said it had posted a net profit of 412.4 billion Saudi riyals ($110 billion) in 2021, more than double the $49 billion in 2020according to a statement from the group.

This announcement takes place in a context in which crude oil prices have skyrocketed, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It also comes after a last attack by the Houthi rebels against the facilities of the energy giant in the south of Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading exporter of crude oil and a country that leads a military coalition in support of the Yemeni power against the insurgents, supported by Iran.

According to this coalition, Saudi air defenses destroyed one ballistic missile and nine drones, but the booby-trapped drones hit their targets, including an Aramco distribution station in the south and the company’s gas liquefaction plant in the west.

exceptional year

The Houthis claimed responsibility for several attacks on “vital and important” facilities, including Aramco infrastructure. The attacks caused “material damage to facilities and homes,” according to the coalition.

In 2019, several air strikes against two of the company’s facilities in the eastern region of the country temporarily halved the kingdom’s crude output.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, a group that brings together the six Arab petro-monarchies, headed by Saudi Arabia, has proposed talks in Riyadh starting on March 29 to try to resolve the conflict in Yemen.

But the rebels have warned that they will not enter “enemy” territory, although they say they are not opposed to the beginning of the talks.

Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter, had announced a net profit of 88.2 billion dollars in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world economy, especially the oil and aviation sectors.

The company’s president, Amin Nasser, welcomed these results: “An exceptional year 2021 for Aramco from the point of view of financial and operational results, initiatives, achievements and upcoming investments, despite the challenges and the difficult global context due to the pandemic,” according to a statement.

“These strong results demonstrate our budgetary discipline, our flexibility in the face of changing market conditions and our focus on our long-term growth strategy,” he added.

Nasser emphasized that “the outlook remains uncertain due to various macroeconomic and geopolitical factors” and recalled that “energy security is essential for billions of people around the world.”

Saudi Arabia seeks to diversify its oil-dependent economy, with the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, investing in various sectors domestically and globally.

In February, the kingdom “transferred” 4% of Aramco’s shares, valued at $80 billion, to the PIF, an operation intended to “support the restructuring of the national economy.”

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