Saudi Aramco is still working on deal to invest $15b in India’s RIL

The Saudi Aramco logo is pictured at the company's oil facility in Saudi Arabia, REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), the world’s largest crude oil producer, said it’s still working on a deal to buy a $15 billion stake in Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) oil-to-chemicals business, Bloomberg reported.

“We are still in discussions with Reliance,” Aramco chief executive officer Amin Nasser said on a call with reporters on Sunday. “The work is still on. We will update our shareholders in due course about the Reliance deal.”

Aramco reported a 50% drop in net income for the six months ended 30 June.

RIL had announced plans to sell a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business to Saudi Aramco as part of its deleveraging exercise last fiscal. This July, however, RIL’s chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said due to unforeseen circumstances in the energy market, the deal has not progressed as per the original timeline.

In a press statement published on Sunday, Saudi Aramco said its net income plunged to $23.2 billion in the first half of 2020, down by half from $46.9 billion over the same period in 2019.

Aramco reported a 73.4% fall in second-quarter net profit and said it expected capital expenditure for 2020 to be at the lower end of a $25 billion to $30 billion range.

The covid-19 pandemic has resulted in substantial reductions in consumer and business activity and significantly reduced demand for crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products. It has thus delayed the oil major’s deal with RIL.

The RIL board had this April approved a scheme of arrangement for transfer of O2C undertaking of the company to Reliance O2C Ltd.

The O2C undertaking of the company comprises of refining, petrochemicals, fuel retail and aviation fuel, and bulk wholesale marketing businesses together with its assets and liabilities.

RIL has also laid out a 15-year vision for itself to build a new energy company whose focus will be to recycle carbon dioxide, create value from plastic, and build clean and affordable energy with hydrogen, wind, solar, fuel cells and battery.

While RIL will remain a user of crude oil and natural gas, it is committed to embracing new technologies to convert its carbon dioxide emissions into useful products and chemicals, he said.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.