Oil giant Saudi Aramco reported record-high earnings for 2022, made off higher crude prices.
According to a company press release issued on Sunday, Aramco’s profits surged to $161 billion (Kshs 20.9 trillion) last year, up 46% from the $110 billion (Kshs14.3 trillion) it made in 2021.
Aramco, the world’s second most valuable firm, said the numbers represented its “highest annual profits as a listed company.”
Aramco’s earnings nearly matched the combined figure for the so-called Big Oil majors Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and TotalEnergies.
The oil giants reported record profits last year but jointly beat Aramco only by around $30 billion (Kshs3.9 trillion).
The record-setting earnings were “underpinned by higher crude oil prices, higher volumes sold, and improved margins for refined products,” Aramco said.
Aramco and Kenya
Aramco has been eyeing the Kenyan market.
In December 2022, the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) gave Aramco Overseas Company, the investment arm of Saudi Aramco, the nod to acquire the Kenyan operations of VGP Holdings, a US motor oil and lubricants provider, as part of the global deal worth $2.65 billion (Kshs344 billion).
“The Competition Authority of Kenya excludes the proposed acquisition of control of VGP Holdings LLC by Aramco Overseas Company B.V from provisions of the Act ,” CAK Director-General Wang’ombe Kariuki said in a notice.
The exclusion was provided on grounds that it will not affect competition and that the US motor oil and lubricants group remains small in Kenya with annual sales of Sh14.2 million.
The Aramco unit is expected to seek a larger share of Kenya’s lubricants sector and is expected to tap new markets, including fuel importation.
Aramco Overseas Company offers support to operations of Saudi Aramco in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa but excludes the Saudi Arabia and North American markets.
The support involves finances, supply chain management, technical support and other administrative services.
The acquisition looks set to trigger shifts in Kenya’s fuel lubricants market that is currently dominated by multinational firms such as Vivo – seller of Shell products —, Total Energies and Rubis.
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