Saudi Aramco Preparing for Initial Public Offering

Saudi Aramco facility (file image)

By Reuters 2016-05-10 21:02:57

Saudi Aramco is in the final stages of preparing options for its initial public offer of shares before presenting the options soon to its Supreme Council for consideration, chief executive Amin Nasser said on Tuesday.

Aramco has a huge team working on the options, which include a share listing in Saudi Arabia, a dual listing with a foreign market, and listings in more than two places, Nasser told reporters.

The Supreme Council overseeing the national oil giant is headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is spearheading the kingdom's economic reform drive and has said a stake of up to 5 percent of the company will be sold.

Nasser said the company's reporting and procedures were aligned with the best in the industry and it would share more information with the public as required for an IPO.

Addressing media speculation, he said Aramco was not talking to Exxon, BP or Sinopec about them buying a stake in Aramco through the listing.

Additionally, Aramco wants to expand globally and is looking at potential joint ventures in several countries, including Indonesia, India, the United States, Vietnam and China, chief executive Amin Nasser said on Tuesday.

"We are looking at the current market status that, even though challenging, is an excellent opportunity for growth," he told reporters during a rare media visit to company facilities in Dhahran.

The company is continuing to build its oil production and refining capacity, and its Shaybah oilfield is expected to reach output capacity of 1 million barrels per day "in a couple of weeks", Nasser added.

Aramco has been working to boost Shaybah's capacity by 250,000 bpd to rebalance its crude oil quality and help compensate for the maturing of other fields. 

Aramco also announced Tuesday that it expects a huge ship repair and shipbuilding complex that it is developing at Ras al-Khair on the kingdom's east coast to be fully operational by 2021, chief executive Amin Nasser said on Tuesday.

Under a sweeping economic reform programme announced last month, Aramco is to play a big role in developing industrial projects as Saudi Arabia tries to diversify its economy beyond reliance on oil exports.

The first part of the shipbuilding complex will be ready by 2018, and it will eventually make oil rigs and tankers, Nasser told reporters during a rare media visit to company facilities in Dhahran.

A presentation by the company showed the complex would create 80,000 jobs and allow Saudi Arabia to reduce its imports by $12 billion, while increasing the country's gross domestic product by $17 billion.