The world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco, reported $30.4 billion in third-quarter net income on Sunday, bolstered by a surge in oil prices and recovery in demand as the coronavirus pandemic eases.
Saudi Arabia’s majority state-owned oil giant Aramco said its net income more than doubled from $11.8 billion during the same three-month period a year earlier. Last year’s figure came after profits plunged dramatically as global coronavirus lockdowns slammed oil prices.
Aramco CEO Amin Nasser described the company’s third-quarter results as “exceptional,” a result of “increased economic activity in key markets and a rebound in energy demand." He acknowledged some remaining headwinds for the global economy due to supply chain bottlenecks.
The earnings came as the global loosening of virus-induced restrictions, tightening of gas supplies and acceleration of vaccination campaigns have pushed prices of crude sharply higher. The price of international benchmark Brent crude was trading at over $83 a barrel on Sunday.
“We are optimistic that energy demand will remain healthy for the foreseeable future,” Nasser said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Consumers and companies are using more gasoline and airplane fuel as governments relax restrictions, leading to a rally across energy markets.Net income refers to the amount left after taxes and preferred dividends have been paid.