Saudi Electricity Company ‘largely unaffected’ by attacks on Aramco: S&P

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Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), the Gulf’s largest utility, was largely unaffected by the strike on Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities on Saturday, according to information from S&P Global Ratings.

“We understand SEC power plants continue to receive sufficient fuel allocations from Saudi Aramco and gas supplies to major power plants across the Kingdom have continued, with petrochemical producers bearing the brunt of the cuts,” said the ratings provider.

S&P added that SEC’s plants have alternative fuel back-up arrangements.

The attacks are not likely to affect the firm’s ratings of SEC, noting that ratings on SEC are equalized with Saudi Arabia due to “an almost-certain likelihood” of government support, should SEC run into difficulties.

Ratings changes on Saudi Arabia, however, would likely lead to a change in ratings for the utility provider.

S&P concluded by saying that ratings on SEC will continue to be on a negative outlook due to expectations that broad structural changes in the Kingdom’s utilities sector will lead to companies operating with less government support.

“This will likely result in SEC operating more as an independent, commercially-based enterprise, but with the reduced likelihood of extraordinary government support,” the ratings agency said.

Saudi Arabia has returned its oil supplies to levels comparable prior to Saturday’s attacks on Aramco’s oil installations, the Kingdom's Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in Jeddah on Tuesday evening.

He said the Kingdom will maintain full oil supply to its customers this month, while oil production capacity will rebound to 11 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of September.