A Brief History of Aramco, the Saudi Oil Giant

Saudi Aramco is 85 years old. The Saudi state-owned oil company is the largest in the world, helping the kingdom maintain its position as the biggest exporter of crude oil.

Riyadh is looking to acquire part of the public company, so this IPO might be the largest in history.

Timeline of the Saudi oil giant

1933 – Saudi Aramco is created as part of an agreement between Saudi Arabia and the California-based Socal Oil Company. This agreement, like many of the agreements granted to the major US and British oil companies at the time, gave it the exclusive right to explore and extract oil on Saudi soil.

1944 – The name of California Arabian Standard Oil Company was changed to the Arabian American Oil Company, or as it is commonly known nowadays, Aramco. It was run by a group of US oil companies including the former Chevron, Texaco and Exxon Mobil companies.

1960 – After the creation of OPEC, Saudi Arabia and many oil-producing countries began to nationalize their natural resources.

1980 – The Saudi government completes the acquisition of Aramco’s assets, which ultimately led to the establishment of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company in 1988.

2012 – Aramco releases a new trading arm that will reportedly buy and sell around 1.5 million barrels of chemicals and polymer products every day. This feature will help the company keep more of those revenues at home by reducing their dependence on outside traders.

2016 – Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman declares that he is thinking about listing the shares of the state-owned company and selling about 5% of this company, in an attempt to build a large sovereign fund.


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