By Arab News
Saudi Aramco is finalizing proposals for its partial privatization and will present them to its Supreme Council soon, its chief executive said about the centerpiece of the Kingdom’s efforts to overhaul its economy.
The company has a huge team working on the options for the initial public offering (IPO) of less than 5 percent of its value, which include a single domestic listing and a dual listing with a foreign market, CEO Amin Nasser said on Tuesday.
They will be presented “soon” to Aramco’s Supreme Council, headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Nasser stressed that even after the listing, the government would retain sole control over Aramco’s oil and gas output levels. “Production is sovereign.”
Riyadh has traditionally kept an expensive “spare cushion” of excess production capacity, allowing it to raise or reduce levels to influence prices according to the government’s market strategy. Private oil companies, by contrast, do not hold back output for strategic gain.
Nasser also said Aramco was seeking to expand globally via joint ventures in Asia and North America.
“We are looking at the current market status that, even though challenging, is an excellent opportunity for growth,” Nasser said, adding that he was looking at opportunities in the US, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and China.
The CEO was speaking to reporters during a media visit to the company’s extensive headquarters.
Besides proposing to sell a stake in the company, which would require it to release sensitive reserves data, Riyadh has asked Aramco to play a big role in developing industrial projects aimed at stimulating non-oil economic sectors.
Aramco expects global crude oil demand to grow by 1.2 million barrels per day this year, he said, and has seen increasing demand in the United States and India.
“We will meet the call on Saudi Aramco,” Nasser said, adding that the company will increase capacity in future if needed, but that for the time being its maximum sustainable capacity would stay at 12 million bpd, with total capacity of 12.5 million bpd.