Saudi Aramco’s 2021 profit soars, expects increased investment in 2022 By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed gas pipeline sits in front of the Saudi Aramco logo displayed in this illustration taken February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi oil giant Aramco (SE:) on Sunday reported annual net profit more than doubling in 2021, boosted by higher oil prices, and announced plans to sharply increase capital spending in 2022.

The oil giant benefited from a more than 50% rise in crude prices last year as rising COVID 19 vaccination rates and easing restrictions drove demand outpacing supply .

Oil prices soared above $100 a barrel last month after Russia invaded Ukraine in what Moscow calls a “special operation”.

Net profit rose to $110 billion for the year that ended Dec. 31, from $49 billion a year earlier.

Analysts had expected net profit of $106 billion in 2021, according to Eikon’s average analyst estimate of Refinitiv.

Aramco said it aims to increase capital spending to $40-50 billion in 2022, with further growth expected through the middle of the decade.

Capital expenditure in 2021 was $31.9 billion, an 18% increase from 2020.

Aramco plans to increase “maximum sustainable capacity” to 13 million barrels per day by 2027 and wants to increase gas production by more than 50% by 2030.

Aramco also intends to develop significant hydrogen export capacity and become a world leader in carbon capture and storage, he said.

“Although economic conditions have improved significantly, the outlook remains uncertain due to various macro-economic and geopolitical factors,” CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement.

“But our investment plan aims to tap into the growing long-term demand for reliable, affordable and ever more secure and sustainable energy.”

Aramco, which ranks only behind Apple (NASDAQ:) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:) in market value, declared a $75 billion dividend for 2021, in line with its earlier pledge.

($1 = 3.7515 riyals)

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