Saudi Arabia asks for support against attacks from its facilities

Amin Nasser CEO of Saudi Aramco speaks with media before a news conference in Jeddah Saudi Arabia Sept. 17 2019. — Reuters

Amin Nasser CEO of Saudi Aramco speaks with media before a news conference in Jeddah Saudi Arabia Sept. 17 2019. — Reuters

Saudi Arabia's Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is hoping to raise $2 trillion from the Aramco listing - making it the world's largest IPO. The government wants Aramco's IPO to achieve a $2 trillion valuation, however, the downgrade of its credit rating could put a shadow on these plans.

The head of Saudi Aramco hit out Wednesday at the lack of global resolve to stop attacks on more oil installations, one month after strikes on two of its facilities.

Nasser called the mid-September strikes on Aramco facilities "an attack on the global economy", and not only on Saudi Arabia, and, in a possible dig at USA allies, complained about "an absence of worldwide resolve to take concrete action", which he said "may embolden the attackers and indeed put the world's energy security at greater risk". "It's instigated by Iran for sure, there's no doubt", he added.

Observers say the attacks have also exposed the vulnerabilities of Saudi oil infrastructure, while the extent of the damage at the plants remains unclear.

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A spokesperson for Iran's foreign ministry, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, rejected the accusation that Tehran was behind the attacks, saying that "blind accusations and inappropriate comments in a diplomatic context are incomprehensible and meaningless".

Yemen's Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but a USA official said they originated from southwestern Iran.

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.

Aramco temporarily lost production capacity of 5.7 million barrels per day of crude after an attack on the Abqaiq oil processing facility and the Khurais oilfield on September 14, but claimed it had since managed to restore full production to both facilities. Earlier, sources told Reuters that IPO prospectuses may be released on October 25 and 27, in Arabic and English.

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