The Strategist

Saudi Aramco sets to sell up to 49% of oil pipeline business to US and Chinese investors

04/08/2021 - 04:03

Saudi Aramco, the Saudi state oil company, is in talks to sell up to 49% of its oil pipeline business to a consortium of US, Chinese and local investors. This was reported by The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the situation.
According to them, the US investment companies Apollo Global Management and EIG Global Energy Partners, the Chinese Silk Road Fund and China Reform Fund Management, as well as Saudi pension funds may take part in the deal. Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Apollo and other investors may buy part of the Saudi oil pipeline. 

Aramco intends to sell a minority stake for $10bn to $15bn, the sources of the WSJ said. In a deal that could be officially announced as early as this week, the company's oil pipeline business could be valued at $20 billion. 

Aramco will retain majority ownership and control of the assets. In this case, the buyers will form a joint venture to receive funds from the company for transportation of Saudi oil. According to WSJ, Saudi Aramco currently owns more than 90% of all oil pipelines in the country.

The paper notes that the deal should help Saudi Arabia reduce its economy's dependence on the oil sector: the proceeds will be used to develop technology, tourism and other industries. In addition, it may increase the country's attractiveness in the eyes of other foreign investors.