Saudi Aramco makes relatively little of its profit from foreign refining, Reuters reported, citing Aramco documents.
It reported that Aramco's foreign refining ventures, including South Korea's S-Oil (in which it holds a stake) and Saudi Refining Inc, which operates the largest oil refinery in the US, made up a small portion of the $111bn net income the company raked in during 2018.
Saudi Aramco has traditionally been an upstream-centric oil company, but has made efforts to diversify its portfolio and boost its downstream offering. That includes partnering with ADNOC and Indian companies to build a giant refinery and petrochemical complex and buying a 70% stake in Saudi chemicals giant SABIC.
Saudi Arabia is seeking to move away from an oil dependent economy, a process which GlobalData says it may need to accelerate, as the International Monetary Fund downgraded the nation's economic growth forecast for 2019 from 1.9% to just 0.2%.
The planned listing of a stake in Saudi Aramco is the cornerstone of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's economic diversification programme. Planned since 2018, it has been delayed once more as bankers face challenges with the crown prince's estimation of a $2trn valuation. The delay will last for several weeks to allow Q3 results to be incorporated into the banks' pre-IPO assessments.