Climate Activists Despair as Oil Giant Saudi Aramco Posts Record $161 Billion Profit for 2022

Climate activists responded with equal measures of anger and despair Sunday at the news, with oil giant Saudi Aramco posting record profits of $161.1 billion last year as global demand for fossil fuels shows no sign of abating anytime soon.

France Press agency reports The mostly state-owned oil supplier, the second most valuable company in the world after Apple Inc, said net income on the Saudi stock market for 2022 rose 46 percent from $110 billion in 2021.

It said the results — the strongest since Aramco, also known as the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, became a listed company in 2019 — were mostly due to the impact of higher crude oil prices and selling volumes, and higher refining margins.

Global energy prices have soared after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Breitbart News reported, as some government regulators seek punitive taxes on companies that profit from the sale of petroleum products.

Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, released a statement in response to the earnings criticizing the company for taking advantage of global demand for its product:

It’s appalling for a company to make over $161 billion in profits in one year by selling fossil fuels – the single biggest driver of the climate crisis.

Most shockingly, this surplus was built up during the global cost of living crisis and was aided by the energy price hike resulting from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Amnesty also described Aramco’s earnings as “the most disclosed by a company in one year” and said it “should be used to fund a human rights-based transition to renewable energy”.

Aramco’s gains dovetailed with record 2022 earnings reported by the Big Five oil companies Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and Total Energy, which totaled more than $150 billion and would have been close to $200 billion without costly withdrawals from Russia.

Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco, right, speaks during a panel discussion on the second day of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. Getty)

“Aramco rode the wave of higher energy prices in 2022. This is what the company seeks to do,” said Robert Mogielnicki, of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

“It would have been difficult for Aramco not to perform strongly in 2022.”

In a statement on Sunday, Aramco said The company’s results were “supported by stronger crude oil prices, higher volumes sold and improving refined product margins.”

Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser said global oil demand remains strong and shows no sign of abating anytime soon, despite protests from environmental activists.

“Given that we expect oil and gas to remain essential for the foreseeable future, the risks of underinvestment in our industry are real – including contributing to higher energy prices,” he said.

Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in the oil cartel OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries).

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