Saudi Aramco chief: attacks may continue without international response

Amin Nasser CEO of Saudi Aramco speaks with media before a news conference in Jeddah Saudi Arabia Sept. 17 2019. — Reuters

While Aramco is the world's most lucrative company and produces about 10 per cent of the world's oil, it also carries bigger risks, as illustrated by the drone and missile strike on key facilities in September.

As it tries to push ahead its much-hyped much-delayed initial public offering (IPO), Aramco said in a presentation at the end of September that it would pay a "base dividend" of US$75 billion in 2020 to shareholders, "at the board's discretion". The government wants Aramco's IPO to achieve a $2 trillion valuation, however, the downgrade of its credit rating could put a shadow on these plans.

Attacks such as the one on Saudi oil facilities which last month sent oil prices up by as much 20% may continue if there is no concerted worldwide response, Saudi Aramco's Chief Executive Amin Nasser said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Oil & Money conference in London, Nasser said "an absence of worldwide resolve to take concrete action may embolden the attackers and indeed put the world's energy security at greater risk". "It's instigated by Iran for sure, there's no doubt".

The attacks were claimed by Yemen's Huthi rebels.


Earlier, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman had reported that the Kingdom's total capacity had already stood at 11.3 million barrels per day.

A spokesperson for Iran's foreign ministry, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, rejected the accusation that Tehran was behind the attacks, saying that "blind accusations and inappropriate comments in a diplomatic context are incomprehensible and meaningless".

Nasser added that the attacks had no effect on Aramco's revenues because the company continued to supply customers as planned.

The crown prince plans to list 5% of the company in two stages, first offering between 1% and 2% of shares through domestic markets and later listing the rest of the 5% internationally.

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