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Saudi Aramco IPO Will Not Be Limited To Downstream Operations

Saudi Arabian Oil Company, or Saudi Aramco, is gearing up to go public, and according to a chief executive officer Amin Nasser, the initial public offering will include all facets of the business—not just refining or distribution.

The company is expected to release the list of banks and consultants advising it in the IPO process “very soon,” although Nasser has yet to provide a specific date. Saudi Aramco will list its shares on the Saudi stock market, and may include London, Hong Kong and New York, according to Nasser.

Saudi Arabia wants to sell 5 percent of its shares in the trillions-of-dollars company sometime in 2018 under a plan to create revenue and re-work its economy in the face of lower crude oil prices. The Saudi government hopes to raise approximately $100 billion from the IPO. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first announced the planned sale in April.

Nasser commented, “We need to do a lot of internal work to prepare for this listing. We are listing a part of the entire company, and not just downstream.” He added “There are no obstacles for the IPO of Aramco. It’s going very smoothly, and we are on target. We achieved a lot of progress so far. People have to appreciate the size of Aramco and its complexity.”

Nasser said that the company is set to review its budget, and that the spending program is “active and evolving…We are one of the few companies that is still investing. We will continue to invest in our core business. Our rigs are increasing, and our overall activities are increasing.”

Saudi Arabia continues to produce record amounts of oil, reaching 10.58 million barrels per day last month. On the natural gas front, Saudi Aramco is looking to double its total production capacity over the next ten years.

By Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com

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