Oil giant Saudi Aramco reported a first-quarter profit on Tuesday of $31.88 billion, down from $39.47 billion the same quarter last year.
The firm known formally as the Saudi Arabian Oil Co. blamed the drop on lower global oil prices. Aramco made a $30.73 billion profit in the fourth quarter of last year.
“The results reflect Aramco’s continued high reliability, focus on cost and our ability to react to market conditions as we generate strong cash flows and further strengthen the balance sheet,” Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser said in a statement.
Aramco separately said that it “believes it is well positioned to withstand fluctuating commodity prices through its low-cost upstream production.”
Saudi Arabia’s vast oil resources, located close to the surface of its desert expanse, make it one of the world’s least expensive places to produce crude. For every $10 rise in the price of a barrel of oil, Saudi Arabia stands to make an additional $40 billion a year, according to the Institute of International Finance.
In March, Aramco announced earning $161 billion last year, claiming the highest-ever recorded annual profit by a publicly listed company and drawing immediate criticism from activists amid concerns about climate change.
While saying Aramco was “working to further reduce the carbon footprint of our operations,” Nasser remained bullish on the world’s need for crude and natural gas.
“We are also moving forward with our capacity expansion, and our long-term outlook remains unchanged as we believe oil and gas will remain critical components of the global energy mix for the foreseeable future,” he added.
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