Saudi Aramco’s freshly released 2020 Annual Report highlights the upstream impact of the state energy giant’s decision to slash capex in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the firm did not axe its key upstream projects, it instead opted to push completion dates back in order to dilute the financial hit across more years.

Overall, Saudi Aramco cut capital expenditure by $6bn (18%) to $27bn for 2020 versus $33bn for 2019 (MEES, 26 March). The fall is even greater in comparison to initial 2020 capex guidance of $30-40bn (MEES, 20 March 2020). The bulk of the cuts came on the upstream side of the firm’s operations, where spending slumped by 21.6% to $19.6bn. (CONTINUED - 1597 WORDS)