Forbes ranks Aramco world's No.1 oil company

Updated 23 July 2012

Forbes ranks Aramco world's No.1 oil company

DHAHRAN: Saudi Aramco was ranked as the largest oil company in the world by Forbes magazine in its latest edition.
The list — of the world's 25 largest oil companies — was made public yesterday by one of the world's most reputable business magazines.
"The ranking is based on the combined volumes of oil and natural gas that these companies produce each day," explained Forbes staffer Christopher Helman.
The Saudi oil giant topped the rating based on daily oil- and gas-production volumes. "Saudi Aramco is by far the biggest energy company in the world, generating more than $1 billion a day in revenues," said the magazine.
Forbes presented an image of the Shaybah mega project, stating that it sits on more than 15 billion barrels of oil in the Rub Al-Khali. It also referred to Saudi Aramco's biggest oilfield, Ghawar, which can produce 5 million bpd.
A Riyadh-based oil industry analyst said the magazine was only stating the obvious. "Yes, there is no doubt that Saudi Aramco is the world's No. 1 oil company, and the magazine is only confirming this fact," he said. "This is a reason for cheer for everyone in Saudi Arabia. Under President and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih, Saudi Aramco is undergoing a corporate transformation. "While upstream remains the company's biggest strength, it is rapidly expanding its downstream portfolio, too," the analyst said.
"The slew of ventures and projects, such as Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Sadara, to name just two, indicate that the company will only get bigger and bigger in the coming years," said the analyst.
At No. 2 on the Forbes list was Russia's Gazprom. National Iranian Oil Co. was ranked third, ExxonMobil fourth and PetroChina fifth.
Also on the list were BP (6), Royal Dutch Shell (7), Chevron (9), Kuwait Petroleum Corp. (10), Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (11), Total (13), Petrobras (14), Qatar Petroleum (17), ConocoPhillips (21), Sinopec (23) and Malaysia's Petronas (25).

Saudi Arabia’s economy in a ‘sweet spot’, says US bank

Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s economy in a ‘sweet spot’, says US bank

LONDON: The Saudi Arabian economy is in a “sweet spot”, with higher oil prices allowing the Kingdom to boost spending while not having a significant impact on the country’s fiscal balance, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research.

“Our meetings on Saudi Arabia comfort us in our view that the economy is in a sweet spot. Higher oil prices are allowing the focus on boosting activity not to materially impact fiscal balances,” the note said, published following the IMF and World Bank Spring meetings held in Washington DC this month.

“With a more entrenched current account surplus possible this year, FX reserves could increase this year,” the note said.

The bank forecasts the country will continue to push forward with its reform process regardless of the rising price of oil. Many of Saudi Arabia’s reforms are part of its Vision 2030 that aims to diversify the country’s economy away from its reliance on oil.

Brent oil reached a three-and-a-half year high on 19 April, hitting $74.74 a barrel.

“Reforms are likely to broadly proceed, even at these levels of oil prices, although spending may increase further above baseline expectations,” the note said.

The bank was also upbeat about Egypt’s economic prospects, noting that the country’s “macro stablization” is continuing and that its reform program, which includes cutting fuel subsidies and reforming the tax system, remains “intact”.

“Authorities are on track to achieve a small 0.2 percent of GDP primary surplus this fiscal year. The target is to bring the primary surplus to 2 percent of GDP next fiscal year, and maintain it there going forward,” it said.