Could one of the energy industry’s longest-running on-again, off-again romances be catching fire again? Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman seems to think so.
“There are discussions happening right now about a 1% acquisition by one of the leading energy companies in the world” in state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co., he said in a local television interview Tuesday.
Prince Mohammed didn’t disclose which company might make the investment, but you don’t have to be a Jane Austen protagonist to work out the most likely partner.
Reliance Industries Ltd., owner of the world’s biggest oil refinery, has been dancing the quadrille with Saudi Aramco for nearly two years. At current prices, 1% of Aramco would be worth about $19 billion — not far off the $15 billion price tag put on 20% of Reliance’s energy division, at the time the Saudi company first took an interest in buying a stake in 2019.
A tie-up with Reliance is exactly what Aramco has in mind, the Financial Times reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.