A Saudi Arabian oil giant on Sunday reported an 82 percent increase in net income for the first quarter of 2022 as the Biden administration continues to curb U.S. oil production.
Aramco celebrated a record quarter, earning $39.5 billion. CEO Amin Nasser said increased exports to Europe amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as well as to Asia, drove profits up. With a market cap of more than $2 trillion recorded last week, the Saudi oil giant is considered a more valuable company than Apple.
In the past five months, President Joe Biden's Interior Department has kneecapped domestic fuel production, banning large offshore oil and gas leases in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. The decisions came as U.S. average gas prices hit all-time highs.
Biden in March reportedly sought an audience with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman amid the United States' surging gas prices. A U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal the president had been denied a phone call, which would have been "part of turning on the spigot" of Saudi oil. Axios similarly reported Biden had weighed visiting Saudi Arabia to boost oil exports. The White House denied both reports.
During his 2020 campaign, Biden pledged to "end subsidies" and make the Gulf nation a "pariah" for killing former Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
"Khashoggi was, in fact, murdered and dismembered, and I believe on the order of the crown prince," Biden said during a 2019 Democratic primary debate in Atlanta. "And I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them, we were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are."