Sep 09, 2021
Saudi Aramco is considering opening the door to one of the world's largest unconventional gas fields to foreign investors, as it looks to finance a $110 billion project to diversify oil sales, sources told Bloomberg.
The sources said Aramco is working with a consultancy firm, as it is exploring raising capital for its vast site in the Jafurah region, and has begun preliminary talks with potential investors, including major commodity traders.
It added that the deliberations are in its early stages and Aramco may decide to pursue other ways to raise funds to finance the development of the Jafurah field.
If the deal is implemented, it will be considered one of the rare times that Aramco allows foreign investors to own stakes in its oil and gas assets.
The company began reviewing the field's work earlier this year, as a prelude to such a potential move, according to Bloomberg Agency reported in April and seen by Al Arabiya.net.
The Jafurah field is one of the Kingdom's priorities to increase gas production and reduce dependence on crude oil exports. The site is estimated to contain 200 trillion cubic feet of rich raw gas and Aramco expects production to start in 2024.
Aramco has increasingly opened its doors to foreign investors since it went public in 2019 to help fund both its $75 billion dividend commitment and significant capital spending requirements.
The company completed the sale of a stake in a unit that leases a network of oil pipelines across the kingdom in June, raising $12.4 billion. A similar deal is being worked on for its gas pipelines.