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Aramco Outperforms Analyst Predictions with Strong Q1 2023 Results

Otis De Marie • July 18, 2023
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In spite of a marked decline in global crude oil prices, Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter, has managed to post a net income of $31.9bn for Q1 2023, outpacing analysts’ expectations by a significant margin. The firm’s net income, however, is nearly a fifth less than the $39.5bn it raked in during the same quarter of the preceding year.

Riding on the waves of volatile market conditions, triggered largely by macroeconomic factors, the price of crude oil saw a downward trajectory in the initial trimester of 2023. Despite this, Aramco’s cash flow saw a modest uptick to $39.6bn.

Amin Nasser, Aramco’s CEO, attributes the firm’s performance to its “persistent reliability, cost-consciousness, and adaptability to market conditions.” He asserts that the company is steadfastly advancing its expansion plans and maintaining a growth trajectory across its upstream and downstream operations.

“We remain resolute in our capacity expansion plans, and our long-term outlook is unwavering, as we believe oil and gas will continue to be indispensable constituents of the global energy mix for the foreseeable future,” Nasser stated.

Given its low-cost upstream production, strategically integrated downstream operations, and a history of strong earnings and cash flows, Aramco is confident of its resilience amidst fluctuating commodity prices.

The firm also unveiled plans to implement a performance-linked dividend mechanism, which would supplement the base dividend it currently disburses. The aim, according to Nasser, is to evolve into a reliable energy supplier that can offer more sustainable energy solutions, aiding the progression toward an orderly energy transition.

“By working to further reduce the carbon footprint of our operations and by adding new lower-carbon energy options to our portfolio, I am confident about the contributions that we will make,” Nasser concluded.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, has forecasted a record net income of $161.1bn for the fiscal year 2022, a figure that, if reached, would mark its most profitable year since its initial public offering.

The company’s capital expenditure for the current year is projected to fall within the range of $45bn to $55bn. Factoring in outside investment, this figure is expected to climb steadily until the middle of the decade, further bolstering the firm’s financial position.

Amin Nasser, Aramco’s CEO, previously emphasized that the company is not solely focused on amplifying oil, gas, and chemicals production. It also plans to invest in novel lower-carbon technologies with the potential to facilitate further reductions in emissions.

During the first quarter of 2023, Aramco maintained a daily average hydrocarbon production of 12.9 million barrels of oil equivalent. The nation has set forth plans to elevate its “maximum sustainable” oil production capacity from the current 12 million barrels per day to 13 million barrels per day by 2027.

To support this goal, Aramco is considerably ramping up the capacity of its offshore oilfields, a vital aspect of the country’s strategy to boost oil production.

The company is progressing with the construction and engineering activities for the Marjan and Berri crude oil increments. Expected to come online by 2025, these projects are forecasted to contribute an additional production capacity of 300,000 and 250,000 barrels per day, respectively, according to a previous statement by the state-run behemoth.

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