Saudi Aramco
File photo: Investors stand in front of the logo of Saudi state oil giant Aramco during the 10th Global Competitiveness Forum in the capital Riyadh. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: An attack on Saudi Arabia on Saturday struck an oil field and the world's largest crude oil processing plant owned by Aramco.

The attack knocked out 5.7 million barrels of crude oil production per day for the kingdom, or about 5% of the world's daily production.

Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser was reported as saying that it took around seven hours to extinguish fires after the terror attacks on their facilities.

Saudi Aramco refinery Image Credit: Supplied

What is Saudi Aramco?

Saudi Aramco is a state owned oil company, established in 1933 and became the biggest in the world, producing more oil than any other company in the world and managing the massive reserves of Saudi Arabia.

According to reports, Aramco’s oil reserves is around 261.6 billion barrels, its estimated value is between 2 to 3 billion dollars, which means if listed as planned would be the largest IPO ever in history.


After oil was first found in Saudi Arabia in 1938, an American company dominated oil production, in Saudi. The American company formed a partnership to pump oil with Saudi in 1944 and named it Aramco, the Arabian American Oil Co.

Aramco only became completely owned by Saudi Arabia in 1988, when the Saudi government bought out all of Aramco assets from a group of U.S. oil companies.

The American owners of the oil company left Saudi Arabia and later formed Chevron, Texaco and Exxon Mobil.

By 1980, as a wave of countries nationalized their natural resources, the Saudi government started gradual buyout of Aramco’s assets, and in 1988 announced a new company Saudi Arabian Oil Co., Saudi Aramco.

What does Aramco do?

Saudi Aramco is headquartered in Dhahran, it’s a cornerstone of the global economy, producing and selling 10 million barrels of oil every day.

Aramco explores, produces, refines, produces chemicals, distributes and markets.

With offices and operations throughout Saudi Arabia and the world, Saudi Aramco employs more than 65,000 workers worldwide.

oil pipelines snake through the port area of the Aramco facility at Ras Tannura, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: AP

Saudi Aramco subsidiaries and affiliates are located across the globe in Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt, Japan, India, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Aramco’s main business is pumping oil from the ground and selling it into the global export market, where its biggest customers are the U.S, India and China.

Aramco also explores for crude oil, refines it into oil products like gasoline and chemicals, and buys and sells other companies’ petroleum as an independent trader.

Aramco has multiple refineries across Saudi Arabia, but the major ones are Jazan refinery, Jeddah refinery, Ras Tanura, Riyadh and Yanbu refineries.

General view of Aramco tanks and oil pipe at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia Image Credit: Reuters

How much money does Saudi Aramco Make?

For the first half of 2019, Aramco reported a profit of $46.9 billion, which is a fall of 12% from the same period last year.

Earnings before interest and tax was $92.5 billion, down from $101.3 billion a year earlier. Free cash flow was $38 billion, compared with $35.6 billion for the same period last year.

Saudi Aramco's latest financial disclosures stem from the company's renewed plans to go public. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announced plans to list 5% of Aramco in what could be the largest IPO in history last year.

Who runs Saudi Aramco?

Saudi Aramco managment is led by Amin H. Nasser, its president and CEO. There are two vice presidents - Nabeel Al Mansour and Mohammed Al Qahtani.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman heads the Aramco Supreme council which was created by King Salman and is now the company’s top decision-making body.