Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser said the company’s long-term outlook remains unchanged, despite a 19% year-on-year decline in net income. Photo courtesy of Saudi AramcoMay 9 (UPI) — State-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco on Tuesday reported first-quarter net income was 19% below year-ago levels, though the company’s top brass said he’s unfazed by the drop.Known formally as the Saudi Arabian Oil Group, the company reported net income of $31.9 billion for the three-month period ending in March, compared with $39.5 billion during the same period last year.While the earnings are lower year-on-year, they outpace some of the industry rivals. British energy company BP last week posted its second best return since 2012 by posting a $5 billion profit for the first quarter.Though energy companies continue to report bloated profits, most returns are lower than year-ago levels given the steady declines in the price of crude oil. The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, averaged $100 per barrel during the first quarter of 2022, but fell to around $81 per barrel for the current period, a decline that matches up with the year-on-year income decline for Aramco.Amin Nasser, the company’s president and CEO, said he was undeterred by the slump in first quarter performance. Expansion is ongoing in its downstream business segment — related to refining.”We are also moving forward with our capacity expansion, and our long-term outlook remains unchanged as we believe oil and gas will remain critical components of the global energy mix for the foreseeable future,” he said.Along with the United States and Russia, meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is among the largest oil producers in the world and serves as the de facto head of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.Saudi crude oil production averaged 10.3 million barrels per day over the first quarter, lower than both third and fourth quarter levels. Updated production estimates from OPEC are due out on Thursday.Nasser, like his peers, also touted the kingdom’s performance during the so-called energy transition, the move to cleaner and renewable alternatives.”By working to further reduce the carbon footprint of our operations, and adding new lower-carbon energy options to our portfolio, I am confident about the contributions we will make,” he said.