Aramco is worth up to $1.7 trillion at the price range set by the oil giant on Sunday, below the $2 trillion sought by Saudi's crown prince but putting it in the running to become the world's biggest IPO. Aramco cannot sell its shares directly to investors in the United States and other markets, as the initial public offering (IPO) will be restricted to Saudis and those foreign institutions permitted to invest in the kingdom's stock market. Saudi Aramco said it plans to sell 1.5 percent of the company, or about 3 billion shares, at an indicative price range of 30 riyals to 32 riyals, valuing the IPO at as much as 96 billion riyals ($25.6 billion) and giving the company a potential market value of between $1.6 trillion and $1.7 trillion.
Below are some key facts about Aramco's history, reserves and operations.
Explorers from the Rockefeller family's Standard Oil Company struck oil in Saudi Arabia in 1938. The venture became known as the Arabia American Oil Company and crude oil production hit 500,000 barrels per day in 1949.
By 1980, the Saudi government had bought out all the original shareholders and owned 100percentof the company. Eight years later, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) was officially established.
Also Read: Saudi Aramco’s mega IPO: Why analysts remain cautious about it
Aramco has fuelled decades of prosperity in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is the de facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC, helping engineer price moves on world oil markets.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil. Announcing plans for an Aramco IPO in 2016, he said the kingdom must end its "oil addiction" to ensure it was no longer at the mercy of commodity price volatility.
Aramco had 260.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2017, larger than the combined reserves of Exxon Mobil Corp, Chevron Corp, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and Total SA. The reserves have an estimated life of 54 years.
The company produced 10.3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude last year, touting the lowest cost in the world to produce crude, at $2.80 a barrel, according to company documents. It also produced 1.1 million barrels of natural gas liquids and 8.9 billion standard cubic feet per day of natural gas.
Almost three-quarters of Aramco's crude exports, about 5.2 million bpd, were delivered to customers in Asia last year, where it believes demand will grow faster than elsewhere in the world. Its Asian buyers include China, India, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Its crude deliveries to North America reached more than 1 million bpd last year; to Europe, 864,000 bpd.
The company produces, refines and exports oil from Saudi Arabia, but has refining operations across the globe. Aramco's US oil refining subsidiary Motiva Enterprises owns the 607,000 barrel-per-day Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, the largest in the United States and in 2017 announced plans for $18 billion in investments in its operations in the Americas over five years.
Aramco is also expanding its oil refining and downstream capacity in the region, particularly in rapidly growing countries such as China and India. Aramco in 2018 had a net refining capacity of 3.1 million barrels per day.
With 76,000 employees in 2018, Aramco has energy industry operations, research facilities and offices scattered across the globe, in Asia, Europe and the Americas. It has country offices in Beijing, New Delhi, Singapore, New York, London, Houston and elsewhere.