Khalid Al Falih speaks Gen James L Jones Jr of the Atlantic Council on the second day of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Energy minister Khalid Al Falih said on Sunday the Kingdom is sticking to its 2021 timeline for Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering (IPO).

He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi.

During a speech at the event, Al Falih had said Aramco is the world’s most important and valuable company and the revision of oil reserves — following independent certification by third party consultant — confirms the highest standards of professionalism by Saudi Aramco and the good governance practices and transparency of the Saudi government.

“Aramco is indeed the world’s valuable company and the world’s most important. This bodes well for the company’s bond plans, which will be launched in a few months, ahead of the acquisition of Sabic shares from PIF [Public Investment Fund] and of course the IPO [which is] not too distant in the future.”

When asked by reporters how big the bond is expected to be, he said it will be in the range of 10 billion.

“We will decide within the next couple of weeks,” he said, without specifying the currency of the planned issuance of the bond.

The Saudi oil giant will issue the bonds in the second quarter of this year and they are likely to be denominated in US dollars, according to a report by Reuters.

Al Falih also said the government would continue to invest in the oil and gas sector as per the Kingdom’s policy of maintaining substantial spare capacity to stabilise global oil markets.

Saudi Arabia’s proven oil and gas reserves stood at around 268.5 billion barrels of oil and 325.1 trillion standard cubic feet of gas as of the end of 2017, the Kingdom announced last week.