As profits soar to a new high, Aramco treads a fine line on transition

OPINION: Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil exporter, reported a jaw-dropping annual profit of $161.1 billion last year, making more money than the combined annual income of global energy giants Shell, BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron.

Aramco’s earnings, the highest by an oil company in decades, present a great opportunity for the company to speed up investments in energy transition projects even as it aggressively scales up long-term production capabilities for oil and gas.

Climate advocates would argue that a sizeable chunk of a big oil company’s profit should be invested in research and development for renewable energies, helping to drive the global energy transition towards a more sustainable future as a matter of urgency, whatever this means for oil production.