Oil giant Saudi Aramco has reported a record net profit of $161 billion U.S. for 2022, which is the biggest annual profit ever for an oil and gas company.
Saudi Arabia’s state-controlled oil company, which trades in the Middle East under the ticker symbol TADAWUL:2222, said that its net income increased 47% last year and its free cash flow reached a record $148.5 billion U.S. in 2022.
“This is probably the highest net income ever recorded in the corporate world,” said Saudi Aramco’s chief executive officer (CEO) Amin Nasser during an earnings call with analysts.
The results are nearly triple the profit that U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil (XOM) earned in 2022.
Oil companies around the world have booked record profits for 2022 due to higher prices for crude oil, which peaked above $120 U.S. per barrel last June, and elevated natural gas prices.
Oil prices have pulled back more than 25% from last summer’s peak, with rising interest rates dampening both demand and sentiment.
Prices for Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil fell 6% in the past week alone, with WTI, the U.S. standard, now trading below $75 U.S. per barrel.
Owing to the record profits, Saudi Aramco raised its fourth-quarter dividend by 4% to $19.5 billion U.S. and said it will make the payout to shareholders in the first quarter of this year.
The state-owned oil company also said that it will issue bonus shares to eligible shareholders.
Saudi Aramco said its average production in 2022 was 13.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, including 11.5 million barrels per day of total liquids.
The company reaffirmed that it will continue to invest to increase its maximum production capacity to 13 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2027.
Saudi Aramco’s stock has declined 8% over the past 12 months.