Aramco sees oil demand falling after 2040, per IPO prospectus

Published on : 2019-11-14

Rather than providing its own assessment, Aramco used a forecast from industry consultant IHS Markit Ltd. that forecasts oil demand to peak around 2035. Under that scenario, demand growth for crude and other oil liquids will be “leveling off” at that time. In an accompanying chart, the Saudi oil giant showed global oil demand lower in 2045 than in 2040.

The prospectus, published late on Saturday, gives unprecedented insight into Aramco’s financial performance, strategy and business risks as the world’s largest oil producer prepares for a share sale in early December. It didn’t include how many shares the government plans to sell or the target price range, however. That’s expected to follow on Nov. 17.

While Aramco didn’t explicitly endorse the forecast, its inclusion in the 658-page document will bring it the attention of investors worldwide. The company’s directors believe that the data provided by the industry consultant are “reliable.”

A second demand scenario in the prospectus assumes a faster transition away from fossil fuels that leads to peak oil demand occurring in the late 2020s.

Aramco acknowledged in the document that climate change policies “may reduce global demand for hydrocarbons and propel a shift to lower carbon-intensity fossil fuels such as gas or alternative energy sources.” Social pressure to reduce pollution and carbon emissions already “has led to a variety of actions that aim to reduce the use of fossil fuels,” it said.

As recently as February, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser dismissed concerns about the rise of alternatives to oil as “not based on logic and facts” and said they arose “mostly in response to pressure and hype.” A year earlier at an industry event in Houston, he said he was “not losing any sleep over ‘peak oil demand’.” Khalid Al-Falih, the country’s petroleum minister until two months ago, was equally dismissive, saying in 2017 that talk about peak demand among energy executives, analysts and activists was “misguided.”

The forecasts also stretch much further into the future than those Aramco provided in the prospectus for its April bond sale. Just over six months ago, the company was only giving investors a view of oil markets up until 2030, while now it’s providing an outlook all the way until 2050. Back in April, Aramco gave no indication that a peak in oil demand was on the horizon.

European majors like Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA have already stated concerns about oil demand peaking. Still, Aramco can take some solace in the fact that as one of the lowest-cost producers, its market share may rise as demand slips. Even in a bearish case for oil, with demand peaking in the late 2020s, Saudi Arabia’s market share could rise from around 15% to 20% by 2050, according to the prospectus.

According to one estimate, the nation’s reserves could sustain output in the coming decades as the company improves field recovery factors. Aramco will be able to continue pumping as much as 11 MMbpd of crude and condensate into the 2030s and possibly go as as high as 13 MMbpd in the 2040s, analysts Sanford C. Bernstein wrote in a report Monday.

Aramco published the prospectus on Saturday as it pushes ahead with what could be the biggest-ever share sale. One thing absent from the document was any suggestion of what valuation Aramco is aiming for. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said Aramco should be valued at $2 trillion, but bankers who have tried to value the company have suggested it may be worth anywhere from $1.1 trillion to $2.5 trillion. Investors will start bidding to buy shares in the oil company starting on Nov. 17.

Related Articles

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister warns speculators ahead of OPEC+ meeting

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has vowed to keep short sellers ouching and told them to watch out, days before a planned meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, to decide on future oil policy

Read More

QatarEnergy awards $10 billion EPC contract for LNG megaproject

QatarEnergy has announced the award of a $10 billion contract for the North Field South (NFS) project to a joint venture of Technip Energies and Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC).

Read More

Algeria’s LNG Exports Rise As Europe Races To Replace Russian Gas

Algeria exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period of 2022, and the North African producer booked the highest LNG export growth rate among the Arab countries as Europe seeks to replace Russian pipeline gas supply.

Read More
Wintershall Deaneptune LogoSIEnppipetrojetTransGlobe SCHNEIDER-ELECTRIChempleEgypt gasNorthAlmansooriSKY CTS exxonmobilSchlumberger