Aramco Clarifies Downstream Divestment Plans After IPO Announcement

Saudi Aramco looks more likely to sell refining and petchems interests rather than an overall stake as executives have moved to clarify the firm’s plans.

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, head of the kingdom’s new Council of Economic and Development Affairs, has shaken the oil industry by means of a 7 January Economist interview in which he says the company is contemplating an initial public offering (IPO) of shares.

The state-owned petroleum giant controls some of the world’s largest upstream assets – oil reserves of over 260bn barrels and sustainable production capacity of 12mn b/d – and the interview unsurprisingly prompted intense speculation. Aramco swiftly moved to dampen down expectation, while being careful not to counter any of Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s statements. On 8 January, it released a press statement confirming that it “has been studying various options to allow broad public participation” either through “an appropriate percentage of the Company’s shares and/or the listing of a bundle of its downstream subsidiaries.” (CONTINUED - 824 WORDS)


table Saudi Aramco Downstream Assets
table Saudi Aramco Upstream, 2014