Saudi Arabia: IPO of Aramco risks delays after Houthi attacks on oil facilities

Saudi authorities are mulling plans to delay the Initial Public Offering of the oil company Aramco after the Iran-backed Houthi rebels attacked two oil facilities in the kingdom, causing disruption oil production, AFP reports citing unnamed sources.

The Initial Public Offering, IPO, of the company is set for November but sources close to the financial operation told AFP that the operation could be delayed as authorities are still assessing the damage made to two oil installations.

“They’re in the process of assessing the damage. It’s a possibility but it’s still very early,” said one source.

Drone attacks launched by Houthi rebels early Saturday on Aramco’s Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field caused explosion and fires at the facilities and reportedly cut down production of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per day, which is about half of Saudi Arabia’s total daily production.


This led to a flare up of international oil price to more than 10 per cent, to $67 per barrel, although the Energy Minister of world’s biggest oil supplier Prince Abdulaziz on Sunday announced to use their vast oil reserves to offset disruption to production.


Relatedly, President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that the US was the top energy producer and did not need “Middle Eastern Oil & Gas”.


“…we are a net Energy Exporter, & now the Number One Energy Producer in the World. We don’t need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!” Trump tweeted.

The IPO would yield at least $1 trillion with Aramco valued as the largest oil company. The Gulf giant is floating the company as it embarked on diversifying its economy. Proceedings of the IPO will be used to finance other sectors.

JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America will lead the horde of banks involved in what appears as the largest ever public offering in history.

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