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Saudi Aramco Restores Oil Output Earlier than Expected

Saudi Aramco Restores Oil Output Earlier than Expected

Thursday, 26 September, 2019 - 05:00
Saudi Arabia maintains a faster than expected recovery after the Sept. 14 attacks on its oil facilities. Photo by Saad Al-Dossary

Saudi Arabia has restored its oil production capacity to 11.3 million barrels per day, three sources briefed on Saudi Aramco’s operations told Reuters, maintaining a faster than expected recovery after the Sept. 14 attacks on its oil facilities.

Crude output from the Khurais field is now at 1.3 million bpd and the Abqaiq plant is currently at about 4.9 million bpd, the sources said. On Monday, sources had said Abqaiq production was about 3 million bpd.

The Sept. 14 attacks on the two plants caused a spike in oil prices, fires and damage that halved the crude output of the world’s top oil exporter, by shutting down 5.7 million bpd of production.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and the chief executive of state oil company Aramco, Amin Nasser, have said output will be fully back online by the end of September.

The attacks initially sent oil prices up 20% although they dropped soon after as the Kingdom pledged to bring back output swiftly.

The Kingdom has managed to maintain supplies to customers at levels prior to the attacks by drawing from its huge oil inventories and offering other crude grades from other fields, Saudi officials said.

Meanwhile, Aramco will officially announce its intention to sell shares on the stock market at some point around October 20, people familiar with the planning told Bloomberg.

According to one of Bloomberg’s sources, November indeed could be a targeted timeline for listing shares of Aramco on the Saudi stock market.

The details of the listing and a timeline will depend on market conditions and demand from investors, Bloomberg’s sources said. 

In another fresh report about the initial public offering (IPO), The Wall Street Journal reported that Aramco is considering the offer of not 5 but 10 percent of its stock.

Also Wednesday, a Reuters report said that Aramco has asked banks to submit proposals for a project finance loan of more than $1 billion.

The state oil company’s request for proposals (RFPs) was sent this week, one of two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

It was not immediately clear from the RFP the specific nature of the projects the funds will be used for, the sources said.

The request to banks went in a few days after the Sept. 14 attacks, Reuters reported.

Nasser has said the company was still in the process of estimating repair work but that it was “not that significant,” given the company’s size.

Aramco, the most profitable oil company in the world, earlier this year raised $12 billion with its first international bond issue after receiving more than $100 billion in orders.

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