The Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Saudi Aramco, reported a 44 percent drop in annual profits, though still earned a net $49 billion in 2020 as it posted record oil and natural gas output even as revenues were affected by lower crude oil prices and sales tumbled because of the economic slump caused by Covid-19.
Aramco, a future player in the LNG market and a developer of green energy such as hydrogen, reported record production during 2020 of natural gas as well as oil.
The company’s net profits fell 44.3 percent to 183.7 billion Saudi riyals ($49.00Bln) for the year to December 2020 from 330.69Bln riyals ($81.2Bln) in 2019.
Aramco’s average hydrocarbon production was 12.4 million barrels per day of oil equivalent, including 9.2 million barrels per day of crude oil.
Aramco noted that in April 2020 it achieved the highest single day crude oil production in its history of 12.1 million barrels per day.
The company also achieved another landmark in August, producing a single-day record of 10.7 billion standard cubic feet per day of natural gas from its conventional and unconventional fields.
Both records were achieved despite lower capital expenditure in 2020.
Aramco's revenues in 2020 increased to 1.22 trillion riyals ($325.8Bln), up from 1.12Trln riyals ($301.2Bln) in the previous year.
The company declared a dividend of $75Bln for the year, reflecting Aramco's strong performance in adverse circumstances.
The company lowered its guidance for spending in 2021 to around $35Bln from a range of $40Bln to $45Bln previously, according to its statement to the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange.
“In one of the most challenging years in recent history, Aramco demonstrated its unique value proposition through its considerable financial and operational agility,” said Chief Executive Amin Nasser.
“Our exceptional performance during such testing times owed much to the unwavering spirit and resilience of our employees, who set operational records and continued to meet the world’s energy needs both safely and reliably,” added the CEO.
“As the enormous impact of Covid-19 was felt throughout the global economy, we intensified our strong emphasis on capital and operational efficiencies. As a result, our financial position remained robust,” stated Nasser.
Nasser explained that Aramco was looking ahead with its long-term strategy to optimize its oil and gas portfolio.