Saudi Aramco to expand as oil demand grows: president

 10 May 2016 - 14:05

Saudi Aramco to expand as oil demand grows: president


Dhahran: State oil giant Saudi Aramco, which could soon become the world's largest listed company, will keep expanding despite low crude prices, its president said Tuesday.

"Saudi Aramco will continue to expand," Amin al-Nasser told reporters during a tour of the company's headquarters on Saudi Arabia's Gulf Coast in Dhahran, where it drilled its first test well in 1935.

Even though the current situation "is challenging, it is an excellent opportunity for growth," said Nasser, as the oil industry worldwide reels from the collapse in oil prices.

As part of the Saudi Vision 2030 unveiled last month, the OPEC kingpin announced it will sell less than five percent of Aramco in what officials say will be the world's largest-ever initial public offering.

Proceeds from the sale will contribute to creating the biggest government investment fund in the world, with a value of $2 trillion, whose profits can provide an alternative to plunging oil revenues.

With demand "increasing", Nasser stressed that Saudi Aramco "will meet the call," noting that the company which monopolises all production in the kingdom pumped an average of 10.2 million barrels per day last year. 

Production at Shaybah oil field in the kingdom's east is increasing, he added without giving figures. 

Bloomberg News reported last month that Aramco will complete an expansion of the Shaybah field by the end of May, allowing the world's largest exporter to maintain total capacity at 12 million barrels a day. 

The move will see Shaybah's capacity rise from 750,000 barrels to one million barrels a day.