Everything you need to know about Saudi Aramco: The world’s most valuable company

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Saudi Aramco is the world’s most valuable company, the world’s most profitable company, and pumps more oil on a daily basis than any other producer in the world.

The company first began its exploration for Saudi Arabian oil in 1933. It was in 1938 when the Kingdom first struck oil at the Dammam No. 7 well – the “prosperity well” – and a mere year later Saudi Aramco, then known then as CASOC (California Arabian Standard Oil Company), received its first customer.

All of Saudi Arabia’s oil fields now fall under Aramco’s umbrella, a vast network stretching across the Kingdom containing around 16 percent of proven global oil reserves, larger than the combined reserves of the five largest oil companies in the world, and produced at the cheapest price of any major producer – around $3 per barrel.

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It is for this reason that Saudi Arabian officials have often remarked that even as the world tilts its energy towards renewable sources, the Kingdom will be the last producer standing.

“I can assure that Saudi Arabia will not only be the last producer … We will be the last and biggest producer of hydrocarbon,” Prince Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, said during a conference in late June.

A global supplier

Aramco’s biggest customers are in Asia, where it sends over 70 percent of its exports. The company is the biggest supplier to six major markets in the continent – China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.

While the sheer quantity of oil the company sends to Asia is staggering, China for instance receives around 1.7 million barrels per day from Aramco, the firm’s ties to its markets is much deeper than a seller-buyer relationship.

In Beijing, Aramco China, the company’s subsidiary, has an active refinery and petrochemical production arm. In addition, Aramco China conducts research across a range of topics relating to oil and technological advances.

Meanwhile in other markets, such as South Korea and Japan, Aramco is active in refinery and marketing. The company’s offices in Tokyo and Seoul provide logistics, IT, and business development services via its subsidiary, S Oil.

In 2017, Aramco took an important step in its global expansion with the launch of the Aramco Asia India branch in New Delhi.

This subsidiary oversees the company's operations in not only India but also Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives.

To the West

Europe imports around 860,000 barrels of Armco’s crude every day. In the Netherlands, Aramco has established a complex web of petrochemical industries, including a joint venture with Lanxess leading to the formation of ARLANXEO, a world-leading synthetic rubber company.

Meanwhile, the US continues to maintain a close relationship with Aramco since its inception, and still to this day imports more than 1 million barrels of oil per day from the company. Aramco also owns the Motiva refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, the largest oil refinery in North America with a capacity of 607,000 barrels per day.

Like its relationships with Asian customers, Aramco has also developed deeper ties with the US, and has offices in New York, Houston, and Detroit, coordinating in various activities including scheduling, shipping, storage, and transportation of oil sold across North America.

The future

While the company’s roots are based in the late 1930s, today Saudi Aramco continues to expand its global footprint, investing and forming partnerships around the world.

In December last year, the company successfully listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). The energy giant listed 1.5 percent, or three billion, of the company’s shares on the Tadawul, raising $29.4 billion.

Every day Aramco sells more than 10 million barrels of oil and produces one in every eight barrels produced globally.

The company’s leaders see a bright future for the company.

“We envision transforming billions more barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of gas into multiple streams of value for Saudi Aramco, the Kingdom, and its people while — at the same time — continuing to remain a reliable supplier of sustainable energy to the world,” the Aramco’s website reads.

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