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Aramco Warns Employees Against Taking Pictures of Sites

Aramco Warns Employees Against Taking Pictures of Sites

Sunday, 22 September, 2019 - 11:00
A metal part of a damaged tank is seen at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2019. (Reuters)

Saudi Aramco has renewed its work on banned facilities and operating sites, as well as sites under construction in the company.

The company issued a statement warning its employees against uploading, sending, or exchanging any photographs or videos of the restricted and under construction areas on social media.

The statement indicated that this action is strictly prohibited unless the required approval is taken.

Aramco cautioned its employees that in the event of non-compliance, the company will take firm disciplinary action.

The company’s reminder comes just days after Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq plant was hit by a terrorist attack that caused a major fire at the plant, the world's largest oil refinery, as well as another attack on an oil facility in Khurais located on the road between al-Ihsa and Riyadh.

Although Saudi Aramco has been able to control the attacks, the company's industrial security department preferred to be careful by reminding its employees of the ban and tightening security in this regard.

Meanwhile, Aramco hired UBS Group and Deutsche Bank as book-runners for its initial public offering, two sources familiar with the matter said.

This is an indication that the deal is moving ahead despite the recent attack on Aramco’s oil facilities.

The company started informing banks about the bookrunners’ roles, one of the sources said.

Reuters revealed that Aramco finalized nine banks for top roles as global coordinators in recent weeks, and more banks are expected to be named in junior roles, the sources said.

Aramco has also added Barclays and BNP Paribas as bookrunners, Bloomberg cited people familiar with the matter.

Doubts had emerged about the timeline of the potentially $20 billion domestic leg of the IPO among investors after last Saturday’s attacks on two sites that usually process and clean up about 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd).

Aramco said that by the end of September it will resume full crude output at Abqaiq and Khurais.

The company’s meeting with analysts, ahead of the expected IPO in late November, is also scheduled for early next week, two other sources said.

Aramco’s listing is the first step toward an eventual sale of up to 5 percent, with another 1 percent expected to be sold domestically next year, followed by an international listing.

Initial hopes for an international listing dissipated when the share sale was halted last year amid a debate over an overseas venue and valuation.

Aramco had said the delay was due to its deal to acquire a 70 percent stake in petrochemicals maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp. Crown Prince Mohammed put a $2 trillion valuation on the company in early 2016.

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