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Project Financing Debt Of Over $1B Sought From Banks By Saudi Aramco: Reuters

Project Financing Debt Of Over $1B Sought From Banks By Saudi Aramco: Reuters
The Saudi Arabia based oil giant Saudi Aramco is reportedly seeking debt to finance some business plans and it has already requested banks to make offers for a debt financing of a project which is believed to be worth more than $1 billion, claimed a report published by the news agency Reuters on Wednesday citing information from sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
According to the report quoting unnamed sources, the request to banks to submit request for proposals (RFPs) was sent by the state owned Saudi oil company - the largest producer of oil in the world, earlier this week.
The report also said that the specific nature of the project for which funds is being sought and the planed nature of usage of the debts by the company is not immediately clear from the RFP. No comment from Saudi Aramco was carried in the Reuters report.
According to the report, the sources said that the request to the banks were sent within a few days following the September 14 drone and missile attacks on two huge oil refining facilities of the company which had reportedly cut in half the total crude oil refining and production capacity of the company as well as that of Saudi Arabia – one of the major oil producers of the world. The attack led to reduction of production output of about 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd).
The Saudi Aramco, which is also pushing for a public listing of a part of the company which would result in the largest ever initial public offering of the world, is still in the process of making an accurate estimation of the repair work to its facilities destroyed in the attack, said Aramco’s Chief Executive Amin Nasser, but also added that the repair cost was “not that significant” because of the huge size of the company.
The report quoted sources who possessed knowledge of Saudi Aramco’s operations as saying that since the attacks on the facilities, restoration of production capacity has been restored to about 11.3 million barrels per day by Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this year raised $12 billion with its first international bond issue was raised by Aramco which is the most profitable oil company in the world. Prior to the bond issue, the company had received more than $100 billion in orders.
According to sources, banks were approached by Aramco and Malaysia’s Petronas last year with the aim of replacing a short-term $8 billion loan with a long-term financing strategy of about the similar size. The short term funds were generated for a joint venture between the companies.
Preparations for the domestic leg of its IPO is being made currently by Aramco even though there have been multiple reports that have claimed that because of the most recent attacks on its oil facilities, the company is unlikely to proceed with the IPO this year.
The Reuters report however claimed that executives from the company are slated to hold meetings with analysts form banks in Dhahran later this week to prepare for the IPO.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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