Saudi Aramco posted a nearly 39% jump year-on-year (YoY) in Q3 net profit at $42.4 billion driven by higher oil prices and increased sales volumes. The oil giant said it plans to expand long-term production capabilities and develop low-carbon solutions.

The profit easily topped the mean estimate of $40.57 billion, according to data compiled by Refinitiv’s Eikon.

In a regulatory filing on Tadawul on Tuesday, the integrated oil and gas company declared a cash dividend of $18.8 billion, in line with its own target, to be paid in Q4.

Aramco said its average total hydrocarbon production was 14.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (mmbpd) in the third quarter.

Its free cash flow rose by 57% from a year earlier to $45 billion, a record, according to the company.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amin Nasser said: “Aramco’s strong earnings and record free cash flow in the third quarter reinforce our proven ability to generate significant value through our low cost, lower-carbon intensity Upstream production and strategically integrated Upstream and Downstream businesses.”

Aramco said it plans to increase Upstream Maximum Sustainable Capacity (MSC) to 13.0 mm bpd by 2027.

Nasser said the company’s plans for Downstream expansion will move forward to meet rising global demand for petrochemicals “which will be critical to the materials transition that is required to support a lower-carbon future.”

“In addition, we continue to develop new, lower-carbon energy solutions as we work to be part of a more practical, stable and inclusive energy transition.”

Aramco, which went public in 2019, said average realised crude oil price for the quarter was $101.7 compared with $72.8 in the year-ago period.

Capital expenditures for the first nine months of 2022 were $5.17 billion, in line with expenditures $5.19 billion in the same period of 2021.

Energy companies have benefited in the first half of the year as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent oil prices zooming to above $100 a barrel causing refining margins to soar. Aramco’s peers, international oil companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron have reported robust profits for the quarter.