RIYADH – The state-run Saudi oil giant Aramco, the biggest in the world, reported a net income of $11.8 billion during the third quarter of the year, a 44.5 percent decrease on an annual basis.
Despite the fall, the results represent an improvement compared to the previous three months when the company registered a 73 percent annual drop in net income.
“We saw early signs of a recovery in the third quarter due to improved economic activity, despite the headwinds facing global energy markets,” Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement.
“Meanwhile, we maintained our commitment to shareholder value by declaring a dividend of $18.75 billion for the third quarter,” he added.
The demand on oil has increased during the third quarter as many countries around the world eased restrictions aimed at tackling the coronavirus outbreak, which has had a positive impact on oil prices, the Saudi company said in its report.
Aramco saw its results affected as early as the first quarter of the year after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic and a pricing war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Back then, the company reported a 25 percent fall in income compared to the same period in 2019.
The situation worsened during the second quarter, when the net revenues fall by 73 percent on an annual basis but began to recover during the third.
“These results highlight the company’s financial and operational strength, despite market volatility and the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy,” the company said.
The company’s hydrocarbon production during the first three quarters of the year stood at 12.4 million barrels per day of oil equivalent, including 9.2 million barrels per day of crude oil.
In March, Saudi Arabia and Russia faced off in a pricing war that came to an end with an agreement struck by OPEC+, which includes OPEC and 10 independent producers, including Russia to cut production.
Aramco plans to increase production to 13 million barrel per day, although it has yet to reveal when to boost its share.
Saudi Arabia has recently announced it discovered two oil and gas fields in the north of the country.
The company has changed its investment forecasts, which will be lower than that calculated before the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
However, its CEO stated that he was not concerned about the short-term performance of the company.
Nasser said he was confident of an increase in demand from the Asian market, its best customer, and revealed that the demand on gasoline and diesel was rising in countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and India.