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Back on Top, Aramco Plots Next Moves

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Soaring oil prices and refining margins have helped cement Saudi Aramco's position as the world's most profitable company. The recent oil boom, combined with a meltdown in the broader equity market led by technology stocks, has made Aramco the most valuable company in the world, surpassing Apple in market capitalization. The question now is how will Aramco leverage its enviable position. The state-controlled oil giant is banking on continued strength in hydrocarbon demand with plans to expand both upstream and downstream capacity. But Aramco also faces unique pressures, including demands for higher royalties to the state as oil prices rise. Energy Intelligence also understands there could be pressure on management to monetize parts of the company further after its late-2019 initial public offering (IPO). Aramco posted huge first-quarter results that again beat analysts' expectations. It posted an 82% year-on-year increase in net profits to $39.5 billion, the highest quarterly profit since its IPO. Strong oil prices, rising production and robust downstream margins boosted earnings, which dwarfed those of all industry competitors. Aramco's focus now is on expanding upstream and downstream capacity under this year's capital spending plan, which will fall in the $40 billion-$50 billion range. Upstream, Aramco aims to increase capacity by 1 million barrels per day to 13 million b/d. Saudi Arabia overall plans to have capacity of up to 13.4 million b/d by late 2026/early 2027.

Topics:
Earnings, Corporate Strategy , Oil Supply, Refining, Oil Products, Equity and Debt Markets
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