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Saudi Aramco's profits already $88B as oil prices stay high

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FILE - Saudi Aramco engineers and journalists look at the Hawiyah Natural Gas Liquids Recovery Plant in Hawiyah, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia on June 28, 2021. Saudi oil company Aramco’s half-year profits peaked just shy of $88 billion for the first half of the year as oil prices remain high globally. The oil and gas company, which is nearly entirely state-owned, said Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, it also saw a 90% surge in net profits for the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same time last year. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi oil company Aramco’s half-year profits peaked just shy of $88 billion for the first half of the year as oil prices remain high globally, the company said Sunday.

The oil and gas company, which is nearly entirely state-owned by Saudi Arabia, said it also saw a 90% surge in net profits for the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same time last year.

Aramco said the results set a new quarterly earnings record for the company since it floated around 5% of the company on the Saudi stock market in late 2019. The company said it would pay a dividend of $18.8 billion for the second quarter to shareholders, as it has promised to do since its IPO.

Aramco said the profits were driven primarily by higher crude oil prices and volumes sold, and higher refining margins.

The higher profits bode well for the Saudi government, which despite years of efforts to diversify the economy continues to be heavily reliant on oil and gas sales for revenue.

Aramco President CEO Amin Nasser said the results of the second quarter reflect increasing demand for the kingdom's oil, which is among the world's cheapest to produce.

“We expect oil demand to continue to grow for the rest of the decade, despite downward economic pressures on short-term global forecasts," he said.

The Associated Press