La Jornada – Spanish energy companies live “golden year” in times of crisis

Madrid. In the midst of the worst energy crisis in decades, which has provoked a social drama with unpredictable consequences, the large Spanish multinational energy, gas and oil companies proudly display their historical profits, confirming that this year of war and hunger has been for them the best in its history.

If last Wednesday Iberdrola did it, which in just six months achieved a net profit of two thousand 75 million euros (44 thousand million pesos), this Thursday it was the turn of the oil company Repsol, which also announced historic profits in the first half of the year of two thousand 539 million euros (54 billion pesos), and Acciona, which also, although due to the size of the company with more discreet profits, 201 million euros (four thousand 300 million pesos).

In the street and in the houses of the majority of citizens residing in Spain, uncertainty and concern persist over the escalation of prices, the exorbitant increase in prices and the general increase in the cost of living. Electricity, for example, is up to ten times more expensive than it was just a year ago. Gasoline was paid last year at 0.82 euros per liter, while currently it is paid at more than two euros per liter and it is feared that the figure will reach three at the end of summer. In other words, just a year ago a tank of a family vehicle, with a capacity of 50 liters, was filled with about 50 euros (1,100 pesos), while now, with prices through the roof, that same tank rises to the 120 euros (two thousand 520 pesos). To this we must add that the basic basket has suffered an inflation of more than ten percent, in some products, such as melons, eggs or watermelon, of more than 30 percent, derived largely from the high prices of power and gasoline.

Faced with this increasingly severe reality, the executives of the large Spanish multinationals these days present their semi-annual results with a smile from ear to ear. And it is not for less, since its results reached historical levels. Only Repsol, which is the company that concentrates most of the flow of diesel and gasoline in Spain, earned more in the first half than what it earned in the entire previous year. And it far exceeded its historical profits, adding two thousand 539 million euros in the first half of the year.

The first half of this year was marked by a volatile international context, conditioned by the tensions caused by the war in Ukraine after the invasion by Russia, which have led to an increase in the prices of raw materials in world markets. This led to Brent crude rising its price in that period by 66 percent compared to 2021, standing at an average of 107.9 dollars per barrel in the first half, while Henry Hub gas, which is what is usually used as reference, reached an average of 6.1 dollars per MBtu, 118 percent more than between January and June 2021. For its part, the refining margin indicator stood at an average of 15.5 dollars per barrel in the semester .

Against this background, Repsol’s adjusted net income up to June, which specifically measures the performance of business, stood at 3,177 million euros, with a contribution from international business of approximately 56 percent, the main exponent of which was the Exploration and Production area, which carries out all its activity outside of Spain.

In a statement, Repsol highlighted that these results, which have increased in the last quarter, reinforce its ability to guarantee supply, even in volatile situations such as those experienced throughout the world since the start of the health pandemic and the war. from Ukraine. The CEO of the group, the former Basque nationalist politician Josu Jon Imaz, defended the company’s management and historical profits “in order to continue generating employment and investment for Spain, transforming ourselves and being net zero emissions is being remarkable”. And he denied that they have had, as they are accused, “earnings from heaven” due to the international context and announced that they will make a common front together with the other companies in the sector to prevent the Spanish government, of the socialist Pedro Sánchez, from applying a new tax on what he defined as the “extraordinary profits” obtained, precisely, by the rise in prices of electricity, gas and gasoline.

With more discreet results, but also historical ones for the company, the energy multinational Acciona reported that in the first semester it achieved a net profit of 201 million euros and closed this same period with a record business portfolio of more than 20 1,580 million euros (432 billion pesos).

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