Oil giant Saudi Aramco’s quarterly profit surges 39% on higher prices

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — State oil giant Saudi Aramco reported a 39% rise in net income for the third quarter year-on-year, on the back of higher crude prices and tightening global supply.

Net income rose to $42.4 billion for the quarter, up from $30.4 billion the previous year and just above expectations. The Saudi company also reported an increase in free cash flow to a record $45 billion from  $28.7 billion one year prior and paid out its second-quarter dividend of $18.8 billion. Its third-quarter dividend of the same amount is due to be paid out in the fourth quarter.

In a statement, Aramco CEO and President Amin Nasser said the earnings and cash flow figures “reinforce our proven ability to generate significant value through our low cost, low-carbon intensity upstream production and strategically integrated upstream and downstream business.”

“While global crude oil prices during this period were affected by continued economic uncertainty, our long-term view is that oil demand will continue to grow for the rest of the decade given the world’s need for more affordable and reliable energy,” Nasser added.

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Aramco is not alone in predicting a continued rise in oil demand.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, on Monday raised its medium and long-term forecasts for crude demand, and said that $12.1 trillion of investment was required to meet it.

Its outlook differs from that of some other bodies, like the International Energy Agency, which sees oil demand peaking sometime in the middle of the next decade, as nations attempt to transition away from fossil fuels.