State-owned Saudi Arabian oil major Saudi Aramco has published its financial results for the second quarter of 2020, headlined by a 73% decline in profits as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupts oil demand around the world.

The results, published on Sunday, highlight the instability of the energy industry amid the pandemic. The firm’s net income in the second quarter of this year was $6.6bn, down from $24.7bn in the same quarter of 2019, and net income over the first six months of 2020 was $23.2bn, down from $46.9bn in the first half of 2020. These shifts have been triggered by a decline in energy demand in general, and oil demand in particular, around the world, with the International Energy Agency predicting that global energy demand will fall 6% as a result of the pandemic.

Despite these financial challenges, Saudi Aramco’s operations were largely unaffected, with hydrocarbon production reaching 12.7 million barrels per day of oil equivalent in the second quarter of this year. The company also produced what it called a “historic highest single day crude oil production” of over 12 million barrels in April.

“We will continue to pursue our long-term growth and diversification strategy to capture unrealised and additional value from every hydrocarbon molecule we produce,” said president and CEO Amin H Nasser. “We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies.

“Meanwhile, we continue to place people’s safety first and have adapted to the new normal, implementing wide-ranging precautions to limit the spread of Covid-19 wherever we operate.”

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By GlobalData