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Monday, January 25, 2016

Saudi not afraid of low oil prices

Saudi Arabia is not afraid of low oil price and this will send the already gloomy oil & gas industry even further downwards.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is maintaining investment in oil and natural gas projects and has formulated a new strategy in response to cheaper crude as it studies options to sell shares in its parent company and downstream refining and chemical operations, Chairman Khalid Al-Falih said Monday at a conference in Riyadh. The state-run producer, known as Saudi Aramco, can sustain low oil prices for “a long, long time,” he told reporters.

It is a signal that the Saudi is sending across....that this is a fight they will not lose. 

“Saudi Arabia is well-documented to be the clear lowest-cost producer -- we have scale, capabilities, and technology to help us maintain our low cost as we go forward,” he said. 

He also mentioned how the company encourage fiscal discipline and in the company's investments capacity, oil and gas had not slowed down.


State-run company, Aramco, supplies all of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil, pumped more than 10 million barrels a day in each of the last 10 months. The company’s output was 10.25 million barrels a day in December, adding to a global supply glut that pushed benchmark Brent crude prices down 35 percent last year and a further 14 percent this month. The company continues and shows no sign of slowing down, even as they seek to assert their role as the world's lowest-cost producer. 

Amid the financial pressures due to the tumbling oil price, Aramco is studying a possible share sale as the country looks into privatizing companies in all industries.

There are two tracks for an IPO.

First, it's to bring together a significant downstream portfolio of Saudi Aramco involving refining, chemical and marketing businesses and offer these in a big bundle that is going to be a significant addition to the local Tadawul stock market.

The second one is the first in the history of Saudi Arabia: to actually offer an appropriate percentage of the company at the top.

The company won’t offer shares in its crude reserves, which belong to the state, he said Sunday in an interview on Al Arabiya television. Saudi Arabia holds 267 billion barrels of proven crude reserves, the world’s second-largest after those of Venezuela, according to data from BP Plc.

Aramco sees demand for crude growing, Al-Falih said. The company isn’t responsible for current low crude prices and is hoping for a “moderation” in price levels, he said.

Oil at $110 was unsustainable, Al-Falih said.

“Demand will grow as it already started in 2015, and there will be a period not far into the future where demand catches up with supply and inventories are worked out of the system, and we will be back at where we were before,” he said.

Until that happens, Al-Falih said, “Saudi Arabia can sustain low oil prices for a long, long time.”

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