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Saudi Aramco IPO will guarantee growth and jobs: Al-Falih

Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid Al-Falih. (SPA file photo)
DUBAI: The forthcoming sale of shares in Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, will help generate sustainable growth and quality jobs for citizens of the Kingdom, according to Minister of Energy Khalid Al-Falih.
In his message unveiling Aramco’s 2016 annual review on Thursday, Al-Falih, who is also chairman of the oil giant, said the planned initial public offering (IPO) on Saudi and international stock markets was “the most notable feature of the Kingdom’s transformation” as set out in the Vision 2030 plan to reduce its dependence on oil revenue.
“The Vision, which aims to diversify the national economy beyond oil and build a thriving private sector, will enable Saudi Aramco to expand its global presence. Concurrently with the Vision, the company will enlarge its supply chain and improve business reliability through a local network of suppliers and manufacturers while increasing the competitiveness of Saudi Arabia’s energy sector,” he said.
He added that the IPO — which is set to value Aramco at $2 trillion and which is scheduled for late next year — would “elevate the international visibility of the company’s decision making and governance, and building confidence in its long-term strategy.”
In 2016, which Al-Falih said was a “challenging year,” Aramco reached an all-time record for production of crude oil, pumping an average of 10.5 million barrels a day (mbd) — the biggest daily figure of any oil company in history.
Late in the year, Saudi Arabia led the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) initiative to cap oil production in the face of falling prices, which Al-Falih said has “set the stage for an improved business environment in 2017.”
He said that 2016 was a “turning point” for Aramco, Saudi Arabia and the global oil industry.
Saudi Arabia ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2016, just before the US signaled it was to leave the global pact to protect the environment. Al-Falih said that “the role of oil and gas in the global energy mix will remain significant for decades to come.”

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