Officially known as the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, oil giant Saudi Aramco posted a massive profit of $161.1 billion for 2022 on Sunday. This profit posting is the highest-ever recorded by any publicly-listed company in the world – industry sources said. Aramco’s share in the Tadawul stock exchange in Riyadh is $8.74 and the company’s worth is valued at $1.9 trillion, making it the richest company in the world after Apple.
The state-controlled oil company said this year’s $161.1 billion net income is above 2021’s net profit of $110 billion by a 46.5% increase. Aramco also has a $148.5 billion free cash flow in 2022 against the $107.5 billion realized in 2021. The CEO of Aramco, Amin Nasser, noted that “this is probably the highest net income ever recorded in the corporate world” on a Sunday earnings call.
Critics have condemned the oil giant for the huge net profit, given that it made possible skyrocketing prices of oil and gas as a result of western sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine. The withdrawal of China from selling its oil because of COVID-19 restrictions also helped Saudi Arabia to realize that huge profit, although China is planning to re-enter the oil market again soon.
The secretary-general of Amnesty International, Agnes Callamard, said it is unthinkable that Aramco would make $161.1 billion in annual profit from oil and gas operations that fuel climate change. She also condemned the fact that Saudi Arabia is one of the topmost countries that carry out executions of people, and that it supports the civil war in Yemen.
“It is shocking for a company to make a profit of more than $161 billion in a single year through the sale of fossil fuel — the single largest driver of the climate crisis,” she said in a statement. “It is all the more shocking because this surplus was amassed during a global cost-of-living crisis and aided by the increase in energy prices resulting from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”
Callamard went on to warn that “these extraordinary profits, and any future income derived from Aramco, should not be deployed to finance human rights abuses, cover them up, or try and gloss over them.”
With the huge revenue generated by Aramco, the oil giant said it is paying out a dividend of $19.5 billion to shareholders in the fourth quarter of this year. The success of Aramco and soaring oil prices will also enable Saudi Prince Mohammed to fund his proposed $500 billion desert city project called Neom. The country will also be able to fund a new airline, Riyadh Air, among other capital projects.