Saudi Aramco plans to pay base dividend of $75 billion in 2020

Company says it intends to adopt 'progressive' dividend policy, with payouts linked to oil prices

FILE PHOTO: A production facility is seen at Saudi Aramco's Shaybah oilfield in the Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia, May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

Saudi Aramco plans to pay a base dividend of $75 billion (Dh275bn) in 2020, the company said in a statement posted on its website on Monday.

The company added that it would pay a “progressive, growing dividend on [a] sustainable basis at board discretion” in future years.

The document mentioned the company’s plan for a “progressive royalty scheme, with marginal rate amended to 15 per cent for Brent price up to $70 per barrel, 45 per cent for Brent price between $70 per barrel and $100 per barrel, and 80 per cent for Brent price above $100 per barrel”.

Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest integrated oil and gas company producing one in every eight barrels of crude oil globally. In 2018, the company produced 13.6 million barrels per day of oil equivalent, including 10.3 million barrels per day of crude oil.

The company is preparing for an initial public offering, with a reported dual listing being favoured, with an initial listing on the domestic Tadawul exchange expected later this year.

"From Aramco's side, we are ready for whatever the decision is. [The] primary thing is to list locally but we are also ready for other jurisdictions but it is a shareholders' decision,” Aramco chief executive Amin Nasser told reporters in Abu Dhabi during the World Energy Congress earlier this month.

Aramco reported a net profit of $46.9 billion in the first half of 2019, down from $53bn for the same period last year. Despite the profit decline, Aramco remains the world’s most profitable company.

On September 14, two of Aramco’s facilities including Abqaiq and Khurais were attacked reducing Saudi Arabia’s oil output to half. However, full production is expected to be restored by the end of September, according to the country’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

Yassir Al Rumayyan, the head of Saudi Arabia's sovereign Public Investment Fund, was appointed as chairman of Saudi Aramco earlier this month as part of a reshuffle. He replaced the kingdom's former energy minister, Khalid Al Falih.

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