Workers are seen at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2019. Pictures: REUTERS / HAMAD MOHAMMED
Workers are seen at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2019. Pictures: REUTERS / HAMAD MOHAMMED

Moscow — Saudi Arabia has fully restored oil output after attacks on its facilities in September and is now focused on the listing of state oil giant Saudi Aramco, energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Thursday.

The country's crude oil production capacity is now 11.3-million barrels per day, he said, adding that the attacks, which halved the crude output of the world's top exporter, were an attempt to ruin Saudi Arabia's reputation as “a reliable, secure and dependable oil supplier”.

“We all rose to the challenge,” he told a Moscow energy conference.

The attacks on September 14 targeted the Abqaiq and the Khurais oil plants, causing a spike in oil prices, fires and damage and shutting down 5.7-million barrels per day (bpd) of production, or more than 5% of global oil supply.

Saudi Arabia has managed to maintain supplies to customers at levels from before the attacks by drawing from its huge oil inventories and offering other crude grades from other fields, Saudi officials have said.

“We still have the kit and the tools to overcome any future challenges,” Abdulaziz said.

One of challenges for the country now was the listing of Aramco, a centrepiece of Saudi Arabia's plans to reform its economy and diversify away from oil, he added.

“We want to make sure that it is the most successful IPO,” he said, adding that the country was working on diversifying its energy resources and adding both renewables and nuclear power.

“As far as I am concerned ... we moved on, we flipped the page and [are] rising up to the new challenge,” he said.

Bankers from about 20 international and domestic financial institutions are now working a plan to sell 1%-2% of Aramco by 2020-2021 in Riyadh, before an international listing, sources have told Reuters.

Abdulaziz, a veteran oil official and a son of the king, was named as Saudi Arabia's energy minister in September.

Reuters