Saudi Aramco Reports $42 Billion in Profit as Cash Rolls In for Oil Giants

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, said on Tuesday that it had earned $42.4 billion in net income in the third quarter. The figure was more than double the nearly $20 billion that Exxon Mobil earned for the period.

It also enabled Saudi Aramco, which is state-controlled and has a near-monopoly on Saudi Arabia’s oil output, to pay a large dividend — $18.75 billion — mostly to the country’s government.

Aramco is the latest oil company to report very large profits in an environment marked by high petroleum prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

On Tuesday, BP, the London-based energy giant, reported what it called underlying replacement cost profits of $8.2 billion for the quarter, down slightly from the previous quarter but more than double the $3.3 billion in the same period in 2021.

In an effort to bolster prices, Saudi Arabia and Russia, as leaders of the OPEC Plus cartel, recently announced a cut in oil production amounting to about 2 percent of global output. The move angered the Biden administration, which is pushing oil producers, including those operating in the United States, to ramp up output to lower gasoline prices for consumers.

With U.S. midterm elections nearing, President Biden threatened on Monday to seek a new windfall tax on major oil and gas companies unless they increased production.

Britain recently enacted a windfall tax on petroleum producers, and BP said it would pay about $800 million under the levy this year, part of $2.5 billion in tax on its British North Sea oil and gas business.

“We understand it is a very difficult time for society right now,” said Murray Auchincloss, the company’s chief financial officer, on a call with analysts on Tuesday. Mr. Auchincloss estimated that 15 percent of BP’s global profits came from Britain. Shell, BP’s crosstown rival, stirred controversy last week when it said it had not yet paid the new British tax because of heavy capital expenditure.

For Aramco, the earnings reported on Tuesday were nearly 40 percent above profits from a year earlier. But they were down from the second quarter this year, when Aramco earned a record $48 billion.

Oil prices have declined from their highs in June, trimming earnings at Aramco. Aramco said it was paid an average of $101.70 a barrel for its oil during the July-September period, compared with $113.20 in the previous quarter.

Aramco said it was continuing to invest in added production.

“Our long-term view is that oil demand will continue to grow for the rest of the decade,” said Amin H. Nasser, Aramco’s chief executive, in a statement.

The company restated its plan to complete an investment program that would, by 2027, raise its production capacity to 13 million barrels a day, from around 12 million now. Saudi Arabia’s quota in the OPEC Plus producers’ group was recently reduced to about 10.5 million barrels a day, from 11 million.

Mr. Auchincloss said BP was considering adding more drilling rigs to its operations both in the Gulf of Mexico and on land-based properties in the United States.