Saudi Aramco-whose initial public offering (IPO) touted for 2018 is now all but scrapped-plans to buy 70 percent in Sabic currently in the hands of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia in a deal expected to be worth US$70 billion.
"China trade talks and firm commitments made by Saudi Arabia to cut oil production", he said.
"For most of the market, what this does is that it really reinforce what we all know, which is Saudi Arabia holds significant and low-priced reserves", said Richard Mallinson, an analyst with consultancy Energy Aspects. Al-Falih, however, dismissed that chatter saying that "It's not going to be anywhere near the number that's been rumored".
The 2017 figure for crude reserves is larger than the total 260.8 billion barrels Aramco reported in its 2016 annual review.
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Saudi state owned oil giant Aramco is interested in setting up an oil refinery at Gwadar.
While Aramco prepares for its debut worldwide bond, the kingdom itself sold $7.5 billion of global debt on Wednesday in the first test of how much damage the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi has inflicted on investor appetite.
Aramco has lots of room to borrow money as it's virtually free of net debt, according to accounts obtained by Bloomberg for the first half of 2017.
"The fact [that] oil prices remain so volatile makes it less appealing to put all that extra money in to increase capacity when they are not seeing consistent improvement in oil prices from efforts from recent years to stabilise the markets". At that time, the company had about $20 billion of borrowings, offset by $19 billion of cash and equivalents.
"This certification underscores why every barrel we produce is the most profitable in the world and why we believe Saudi Aramco is the world's most valuable company", Falih said in the statement.