The predominantly state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco may soon overtake Apple as the world’s biggest company by market capitalisation. According to Bloomberg, Apple’s market cap of US$2.3 trillion is being closely followed by Aramco, at around US$2 trillion.
Saudi Aramco manages the vast oil reserves of Saudi Arabia, but it also has operations around the world. Its closest competitor, the energy and lubricant producer Exxon Mobil, is a long way behind in terms of market capitalisation, although it’s worth noting that this is just one of the many companies that were formed after J. D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company was dissolved in 1911.
A number of factors are driving Aramco’s rise to the top. On the one hand, the end of lockdowns and government stimulus measures is reducing the demand for technology devices, while the rising global demand for natural gas is having a knock-on effect on oil prices as power generators seek alternative sources.
At the same time, Saudi Arabia is gradually restoring its historical output levels under the terms of the OPEC+ agreement. According to Amin Nasser, Aramco’s CEO, the company is looking to increase its maximum sustained production capacity, although as he pointed out at an industry event, this may take some time:
“Our maximum sustained capacity from 12 to 13 million (bpd)… is not going to come to full capacity at 13 million bpd until 2027.”
Nasser also said he expects oil demand to rise to 100 million barrels per day next year.