Oil supply fully back on track — energy minister

Saudi Arabia committed to deliver Aramco IPO in 12 months


By Anas Alyusuf

Saudi Gazette

Saudi Arabia's oil supply is fully back online after weekend attacks halved output and the Kingdom will achieve 11 million barrels per day (bpd) capacity by the end of September and 12 million bpd by the end of November, the Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said on Tuesday.

Prince Abdulaziz told a press conference at Ritz Carlton here, attended by Aramco Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and CEO Amin Nasser, that oil production in October would be 9.89 million bpd and that the world's top oil exporter would keep full oil supplies to customers this month.

He said Saudi Arabia would keep its role as the secure supplier of global oil markets, adding that the Kingdom needed to take strict measures to prevent further attacks.

Prince Abdulaziz, who conveyed to the gathering the glad tidings from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman on restoration of petroleum supplies to the market earlier levels, said the attacks on Saudi Arabia impacted global markets.

“Even consumers who do not purchase oil from the Kingdom were hit,” said the energy minister, adding that “supply has returned to the same output as before 03:43 (AST) on Saturday (before the attacks).”

Prince Abdulaziz reiterated that Aramco would continue its preparation for the IPO regardless of any impact of the terrorist attack. His views were echoed by Al-Rumayyan, who along with Nasser too spoke during the conference.

“Aramco IPO will continue as it is. The Saudi government is committed to deliver the IPO in the next 12 months. The attacks will not stop Aramco's preparations for the upcoming IPO,” said Al-Rumayyan.

Prince Abdulaziz also called on international community to take strong action against the latest attack on the global economy and energy markets. He added: "UN investigators are expected to come to Saudi Arabia to uncover who is behind the attack on the Kingdom's oil facilities.”

Prince Abdulaziz said in the past two days Aramco was able to recover 50% of the crude oil lost and exports would be normal. He added: “Saudi Arabia's strategic reserves helped Aramco deal with the crisis.”

The energy minister said that there is no impact on Aramco income for September since exports were not hit.

CEO Nasser said the attacks have made Saudi Aramco stronger. The company the took less than seven hours to extinguish fires after the attack and it contained 10 fires in less than seven hours.

Nasser also emphasized that repair work will be completed by the end of the month, adding, “The size of repair work is not that significant given Aramco's size.”

Saudi Aramco CEO said, “What happened is a testament that Aramco is the most reliable company in the world, and despite the worst conditions we can rebound in matter of days.

He also said that the Abqaiq facility was producing 2 million barrels per day, adding, “This is an attack on the global oil supplies not only Saudi Arabia.”

Earlier in the day, Saudi Aramco had allowed its employees to re-enter the Abqaiq oil-processing facility for the first time since Saturday's attacks.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne also said on Tuesday last weekend's attacks on Saudi oil production facilities will have consequences, adding that he feared the situation in the Middle East might deteriorate further.

"Launching an attack on half of Saudi Arabia's oil production will have consequences (...) I fear this major attack will not be left without retaliation. We don't know where all this will end", he said during a scheduled parliamentary hearing in Paris. — With input from Reuters