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State petroleum giant Saudi Aramco is approaching banks with a view to raising up to $4.7-5bn in loans to free up capital from its recently completed Yasref refinery. This will add to the $15.7bn of low-cost finance raised by Aramco and its JV partners since the mid-2014 oil prices collapse.
Aramco is seeking loans for 7-10 years to release capital from the Yanbu’-based project, which it built in a joint venture with China’s Sinopec, using the companies’ own capital, recent Reuters and Bloomberg reports indicate.
While Aramco’s size and state-owned status have protected it from some of the financial pain felt by other oil companies with crude prices down 65% since June 2014, it has major project expansions under way, not only in the upstream, but also in refining and – in a strategic extension of its operating ‘territory’ – into petrochemicals.
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