Saudi Aramco selects U.S. firms to audit its reserves for IPO: sources

Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:20am EST
 
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By Rania El Gamal, Reem Shamseddine and Alex Lawler

DUBAI/KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia/LONDON (Reuters) - State oil giant Saudi Aramco [IPO-ARMO.SE] has tasked two U.S. industry leaders in oil reserves auditing to review the content of its deposits as it pushes ahead with a share listing next year, industry sources said on Thursday.

Aramco, whose fields are estimated to contain 15 percent of the world's oil, has asked a unit of oil services firm Baker Hughes - Gaffney, Cline and Associates - to carry out the review, three sources familiar with the move told Reuters.

Two separate sources said Aramco had also asked Dallas-based DeGolyer and MacNaughton, one of the world's oldest names in reserves auditing, to perform some work.

Baker Hughes and Aramco declined to comment. DeGolyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The listing, expected to be the world's biggest initial public offering (IPO), is a centerpiece of a Saudi Arabian government plan to transform the kingdom by enticing investment and diversifying the economy away from a reliance on oil.

Aramco, once U.S.-based and run by Americans, has long been a Saudi state corporation. It dwarfs all others in the industry by production and reserves, with crude reserves of 265 billion barrels.

The plan to list Aramco, the kingdom's crown jewel, is being championed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who oversees energy and economic policy in the world's top oil-exporting nation.

He is leading a reform drive, called Vision 2030, to address falling oil revenue and fiscal deficits by boosting the private sector, ending government waste and diversifying the economy.   Continued...

 
An oil tank is seen at the Saudi Aramco headquarters during a media tour at Damam city November 11, 2007.   REUTERS/ Ali Jarekji