MOSCOW, (Sputnik) – Saudi Arabia’s state oil and gas company Saudi Aramco announced on Sunday that its net income in the first half of 2022 had increased by 86% compared to the same period of the last year, marking a record result of $87.9 billion.”Aramco achieved a record quarterly and half-year net income of $48.4 billion in the second quarter and $87.9 billion in the first half of 2022, compared to $25.5 billion and $47.2 billion, respectively, for the same periods in 2021,” the company said in a fresh financial report.Saudi Aramco attributes such impressive performance to higher crude oil prices and greater volumes sold, along with large refining margins.Free cash flow in the first half of 2022 soared by 59% year-on-year, reaching $65.2 billion. In the second quarter of 2022, free cash flow amounted to $34.6 billion, marking a 53% increase compared to the same period last year. The main driver of this growth was an increased cash flow from Saudi Aramco’s operating activities. Meanwhile, capital expenditure climbed by 8% in the first half of the year, reaching $16.9 billion.Saudi Aramco will pay as much as $18.8 billion in dividends in the third quarter thanks to good financial results in the three months to June. The company’s shareholders also received bonus shares in Q2 at a rate of one share for every 10 held.”While global market volatility and economic uncertainty remain, events during the first half of this year support our view that ongoing investment in our industry is essential — both to help ensure markets remain well supplied and to facilitate an orderly energy transition,” Aramco president and CEO Amin H. Nasser said in the report, adding that his company expects oil demand “to continue to grow for the rest of the decade.”Saudi Aramco is the national oil company of Saudi Arabia founded in 1933, with the headquarters located in Dhahran. The company controls almost all of the country’s oil production facilities.