Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, May 25th, 2020

Aramco to Slash Capital Spending in 2020, Posts Drop in 2019

Aramco to Slash Capital Spending in  2020, Posts Drop in 2019

RIYADH - Saudi Aramco on Sunday said it plans to cut capital spending in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as it posted a 21-percent decline in 2019 net profit due to a drop in oil prices and production, its first earnings announcement as a listed company.
The world's most profitable company, and by far its biggest oil producer, Aramco listed its shares in Riyadh in December in a record $29.4bn initial public offering (IPO) that valued it at $1.7 trillion.
Its shares fell below the IPO price last week for the first time as oil prices crashed after the collapse of an output deal between OPEC and non-OPEC members led to an oil price war between Riyadh and Moscow. Saudi Arabia has said it plans to ramp up production to gain market share.
Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement the oil giant has taken steps to rationalise planned capital spending in 2020 following the coronavirus outbreak.
The company expects capital spending for 2020 to be between $25bn and $30bn in light of current market conditions and recent commodity price volatility, compared with $32.8bn in 2019.
Brent crude futures last traded at $33.85 per barrel on Friday, down from about $64 when Aramco listed its shares.
Despite a drop in income, Aramco said it paid a dividend of $73.2bn in 2019 and intends to declare a cash dividend of $75bn in 2020, paid quarterly.
Aramco, which is 98-percent owned by the Gulf kingdom, reported a net profit of $88.2bn in 2019, down from $111.1bn in 2018.
Analysts had expected Aramco to post a net profit of 346.6 billion riyals ($92.6bn) in 2019, according to an estimate of 15 analysts polled by Refinitiv. (Aljazeera)