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Saudi Aramco world’s biggest oil producer in 2018: Fitch Ratings

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FILE PHOTO: An Aramco oil tank is seen at the Production facility at Saudi Aramco’s Shaybah oilfield in the Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco was by far the world’s biggest oil producer ahead of regional peers like Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and listed oil majors Royal Dutch Shell, Total and BP, ratings agency Fitch said on Monday.

“Saudi Aramco is the largest oil producer globally by volume… In 2018 its liquids production and its total hydrocarbon production averaged 11.6 million and 13.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, respectively, well ahead of the upstream output of global and regional integrated producers such as ADNOC, Shell, Total and BP,” Fitch said.

Fitch said state-owned Aramco “is less integrated into natural gas and downstream than some of its international peers, such as Shell and Total, which makes it more exposed to oil prices although this is mitigated by low cost of production, its downstream expansion strategy and, the acquisition of SABIC.”

Saudi Aramco last week said it would buy a 70 percent stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) from the kingdom’s wealth fund for $69.1 billion in one of the biggest deals in the global chemical industry.

The rating agency said it put Saudi Aramco’s “standalone credit profile (at) ‘AA+’”, adding that this “rating is capped by that of Saudi Arabia in view of strong linkage between the state and the sovereign.”

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; editing by Darren Schuettler

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