Saudi state energy giant Aramco booked a net profit of $30.4 billion for the third quarter of the year, up by 158 percent from the third quarter of 2020 on substantially higher crude oil prices.
The world’s biggest crude oil company also said it had generated 131 percent higher free cash flow during the reporting period, at $28.7 billion. Cash flow from operating activities reached $36.3 billion.
The company’s chief executive, Amin Nasser, attributed the strong quarterly result to the rebound in economic activity globally, which caused a surge in energy demand. Nasser noted Saudi Aramco’s position as a low-cost producer as a contributing factor for its third-quarter performance as well.
“Some headwinds still exist for the global economy, partly due to supply chain bottlenecks, but we are optimistic that energy demand will remain healthy for the foreseeable future,” Amin Nasser also said.
“Looking ahead, we are maintaining our strategy to invest for the long term, and we will build on our track record of low-cost and low-carbon intensity performance to advance our recently announced ambition to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across our wholly-owned operated assets by 2050.”
According to one analyst from Arqaam Securities, the strong result came mostly from the robust performance of Aramco’s upstream business, Reuters reported. The report also cited another analyst, who said the strong financial results could lead to a special dividend as a reward for shareholders at the end of the year.
The Saudi state oil giant is currently the second most valuable company in the world, after Apple and before Alphabet. The strong third-quarter results come after a string of identically robust reports from Big Oil majors, all of which have enjoyed the effects of surging crude oil and natural gas prices on their balance sheets.