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Aramco to increase energy production investment

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Saudi Aramco is aiming to increase the amount it invests in energy production after it reported a doubling of profits in 2021.

The firm aims to boost output significantly over the next five years.

Energy prices have soared in recent months as demand has outstripped supplies of oil and gas.

The war in Ukraine and a reluctance to rely on Russia for energy has added to the pressure to find additional sources of energy.

Saudi Aramco's move is likely to be welcomed by political leaders worried about the impact of high energy prices, although the boost to investment is aimed at increasing output over the course of the next five to eight years, the BBC reported.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Saudi Arabia to try to persuade the country to release more oil into world markets in the short term.

Saudi Arabia is the largest producer in the oil cartel Opec and by raising production it could help to reduce energy prices which are currently at 14-year highs.

Saudi Aramco said it planned to increase its capital expenditure to $45-$50 billion (€36-€45 billion) this year with further increases until the middle of the decade.

It would raise its crude oil "maximum sustainable capacity" to 13 million barrels a day by 2027, the company said. It also aims to increase gas production by more than 50% by 2030. Saudi Arabia produced just over 10 million barrels of oil per day in February.