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The Saudi Cash Cow

Financing a regime.

Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil and gas giant, is one of the most profitable companies in the world. Just how profitable?

The publicly listed firm generated net income of $161.1 billion in 2022.


Aramco's history dates back to the tumultuous period between World War I and World War II.

Aramco traces its beginnings to 1933 when a Concession Agreement was signed between Saudi Arabia and the Standard Oil Company of California (SOCAL). A subsidiary company, the California Arabian Standard Oil Company (CASOC), was created to manage the agreement.

The work began right away. After surveying the Saudi desert for oil, drilling began in 1935. Following years of effort with little to show for it, in 1937 SOCAL executives sought advice from their chief geologist, Max Steineke. Drawing on years of fieldwork, Steineke told them to keep on drilling.


Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the guy who has journalists dismembered with electric tools – wants to use Aramco's profits to fund his vision for a new Saudi Arabia. WSJ:

The kingdom is considering selling a stake of as much as $50 billion, people familiar with the potential deal said, an amount that would be the largest offering in the history of capital markets.

Saudi Arabia has long wanted to sell off chunks of the oil giant, part of a strategy crafted by de facto leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to monetize the country’s massive oil assets and use the proceeds to invest in industries outside of oil.

Let's see if it works.