Saudi Aramco hits out at lack of resolve over attacks

Andrew Cummings
October 10, 2019

Aramco, the world's most profitable company and the biggest oil producer, issued its first debut worldwide bond of $12 billion in April, which was heavily oversubscribed with orders exceeding $100 billion.

Saudi Aramco has approached wealthy Saudi families in recent weeks as part of wider efforts to build a large investor base to achieve the $2 trillion valuation targeted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said Wednesday the drone attacks to Saudi oil facilities didn't affect plans for an initial public offering (IPO), but inaction on an worldwide level to deal with the attacker may feed further threats, Kallanish Energy reports.

The absence of an worldwide resolution to take action against these operations could embolden attackers and put global energy security at risk, Nasser said.

"You heard the minister of foreign affairs and I think he spoke enough about (where) the attacks (are) coming from. It's instigated by Iran for sure, there's no doubt", he added. Although Yemen's Houthi militia repeatedly claimed responsibility of the attacks, and warned of further attacks unless Riyadh ended its military campaign in Yemen, Washington and Riyadh have blamed Iran.

He also stated that the attacks resulted in no reduction in revenue for the company because it continued to supply its customers as planned.

"We estimate the attack will have a very limited impact on Saudi Aramco's operational and financial performance in 2019", Fitch said.

An IPO prospectus in Arabic could be released to investors on October 25 and an English one for the wider market on October 27, sources have told Reuters. Aramco earlier announced plans to sell between 1 and 2 percent of the company in a local stock market listing, with more share sales possible internationally at a later date.

Still, the CEO of the world's largest oil company said he's concerned about the "absence of global resolve" against the perpetrators of the September 14 drone attacks on Aramco facilities that forced the oil producer to shut down half of its production.

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