Aramco CEO: Attacks had no impact on IPO plans

Attacks on the Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq on Sept. 20 sent oil prices up as much as 20 percent. (Reuters)
Updated 10 October 2019

Aramco CEO: Attacks had no impact on IPO plans

  • The oil company is on track to regain its maximum production capacity of 12 million bpd by the end of next month

LONDON: Saudi Aramco’s chief executive said on Wednesday there would be no impact on the stock market listing plans of the state oil giant after attacks on its installations last month, which he blamed on Iran.

Attacks such as those on Sept. 14, which sent oil prices up as much as 20 percent, may continue if there is no concerted international response, Amin Nasser told the Oil & Money conference in London.

The attacks targeted the Abqaiq and Khurais plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, causing fires and damage and shutting down 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of production — more than 5 percent of global oil supply.

“An absence of international resolve to take concrete action may embolden the attackers and indeed put the world’s energy security at greater risk,” Nasser said.

“You heard the minister of foreign affairs and I think he spoke enough about (where) the attacks (are) coming from. It’s instigated by Iran for sure, there’s no doubt.”

Yemen’s Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but a US official said they originated from southwestern Iran. Riyadh blamed Tehran. Iran, which supports the Houthis in Yemen’s war, has denied any involvement.

Saudi Arabia has maintained supplies to customers at levels seen before the attacks by drawing from its huge oil inventories and offering crude grades from other fields.

Nasser added that the attacks had no effect on Aramco’s revenues because the company continued to supply customers as planned. The attacks also had “no impact on the (initial public offering) whatsoever,” he said.

Saudi Arabia is pressing ahead with plans to sell between 1 percent and 2 percent of Aramco through a local listing, which might be followed by additional share sales internationally.

Nasser said Aramco was on track to regain its maximum oil production capacity of 12 million bpd by the end of November and that October crude output stood at 9.9 million bpd.

The Kingdom’s crude oil production capacity is now 11.3 million bpd, the Saudi energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said last week.


Lufthansa accepts tweaked demands by Brussels over state bailout

Updated 30 May 2020

Lufthansa accepts tweaked demands by Brussels over state bailout

  • Lufthansa and the rest of the airline sector have been hard hit by what is expected to be a protracted travel slump

BERLIN/FRANKFURT: Lufthansa’s management board has accepted a more favorable set of demands from the European Commission in exchange for approval of a $10 billion government bailout, the carrier said on Saturday, paving the way for its rescue.
The agreement comes after the airline’s supervisory board on Wednesday rejected an initial deal with Brussels including conditions that were significantly more painful.
Lufthansa and the rest of the airline sector have been hard hit by what is expected to be a protracted travel slump due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the latest agreement, Lufthansa said it will be obliged to transfer up to 24 takeoff and landing slots for up to four aircraft to one rival each at the Frankfurt and Munich airports.
This translates into three take-off and three landing rights per aircraft and day, it said, confirming what sources had earlier told Reuters.
“For one-and-a-half years, this option is only available to new competitors at the Frankfurt and Munich airports,” Lufthansa said, initially excluding budget carrier Ryanair. “If no new competitor makes use of this option, it will be extended to existing competitors at the respective airports.”
The previous deal had included forfeiting 72 slots used by 12 of 300 jets based at the Frankfurt and Munich airports, a source familiar with the matter said.
The slots, to be allocated in a bidding process, can be taken over only by a European peer that has not received any substantial state aid during the pandemic, Lufthansa said.
The Commission said once it has been officially notified by Germany on the aid package it will assess the issue as a matter of priority.
“(Lufthansa’s remedies will) enable a viable entry or expansion of activities by other airlines at these airports to the benefit of consumers and effective competition,” it said in a statement.
The airline’s supervisory board needs to approve the deal, Lufthansa said, adding it would convene an extraordinary general meeting to obtain shareholder approval for the bailout.
The largest German corporate rescue since the coronavirus crisis struck will see the government get a 20 percent stake in Lufthansa, which could rise to 25 percent plus one share in the event of a takeover attempt. A deal would also give the government two seats on Lufthansa’s supervisory board.
Rivals such as Franco-Dutch group Air France-KLM and US carriers American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are all seeking state aid due to the economic effects of the pandemic.
Germany, which has set up a $110 billion fund to take stakes in companies hit by the pandemic, said it plans to sell the Lufthansa stake by the end of 2023.
“The German government, Lufthansa and the European Commission have reached an important intermediate step in the aid negotiations,” the Economy Ministry said in a statement.
It said talks with the Commission over state aid would continue.