Aramco will meet full obligations to customers this month, says Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister

JEDDAH, 18th September, 2019 (WAM) -- Saudi Arabia's oil supply will return to what they were before last Saturday's attack on two oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais of Saudi Aramco, the country's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman said on Tuesday.

During a press conference in Jeddah, attended by Aramco Chairman Yasir Al Rumayyan and CEO Amin Nasser, the Energy Minister explained the efforts made to enable the Saudi oil industry to overcome the impact of the act of "sabotage."

According to the Saudi Press Agency, he said, "In continuation of the Kingdom's announcement, this aggression resulted in the interruption of about 5.7 million barrels per day of crude oil production. Of these, 4.5 million barrels per day are from Abqaiq plants, where production is processed from several fields. The interruption of production also included about 2 billion cubic feet of associated gas, 1.3 billion cubic feet of dry gas, 500 million cubic feet of ethane and about half a million barrels of gas liquids."

He added that this interruption represents about half of the Kingdom's production of crude oil, equivalent to about 6% of global production. However, he stated that over the past two days, "the damage has been contained and more than half of the production which was disrupted as a result of this blatant sabotage has been recovered."

"So, Saudi Aramco will meet its full obligations to its customers this month, by withdrawing from its crude oil stocks and adjusting the mix of some oils," he explained.

The Kingdom's production capacity will return to 11 million barrels per day by the end of September, he said, and to 12 million barrels per day by the end of November. Production of dry gas, ethane and gas liquids will gradually return to pre-aggression levels by the end of this month.

Locally, the minister added, the utilities sector - electricity and water desalination - were not affected by the interruption of gas supplies, nor were local market supplies of petroleum products. The petrochemical industry's supply of ethane has begun to recover gradually, with the understanding and cooperation of industry representatives.

He went on to state that the aggression that targeted the Kingdom and its oil sector is not only targeting the Kingdom, but will have a negative impact on the global economy and the security of energy supplies.

The attack has impacted both the financial and commodity markets and increased the pessimistic outlook on the growth prospects of the global economy, he said.

Aramco's Chairman Yasser Al Rumayyan, said that the attacks on the Aramco plants "will not delay the initial public offering of Aramco and will not delay its preparations."

The planned IPO of the national oil giant will be ready in the next 12 months and the Kingdom is committed to the listing, he added.

Meanwhile, the company's President and CEO Amin Nasser talked about the restoration of Saudi Aramco's full production capacity.

He said that in an act of "exceptional loyalty", many of the company's retired employees, both Saudis and non-Saudis, have expressed their desire to join the support teams on a voluntary basis.

WAM/Rasha Abubaker