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Saudi Aramco, BlackRock signs $15.5bn gas pipeline deal

Saudi Aramco

DHAHRAN: Saudi Aramco has signed a $15.5 billion lease and leaseback deal involving its gas pipeline network with a consortium led by BlackRock Real Assets and Hassana Investment Company, one of the world’s largest energy infrastructure deals.

According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), this is the second such infrastructure transaction by Aramco in the current year after the closing of the oil pipeline infrastructure deal earlier in June 2021.

Upon completion of the gas pipeline transaction, Aramco will receive upfront proceeds of $15.5 billion, further strengthening its balance sheet.

The deal unlocks additional value from Aramco’s diverse asset base and has attracted interest from a wide range of worldwide investors, highlighting the compelling investment opportunity.

As part of the transaction, a newly-formed subsidiary, Aramco Gas Pipelines Company, will lease usage rights in Aramco’s gas pipelines network and lease them back to Aramco for a 20-year period.

In return, Aramco Gas Pipelines Company will receive a tariff payable by Aramco for the gas products that will flow through the network, backed by minimum commitments on throughput.

Aramco will hold a 51 percent majority stake in Aramco Gas Pipeline Company and sell a 49 percent stake to investors led by BlackRock and Hassana.

However, Aramco will continue to retain full ownership and operational control of its gas pipeline network and the transaction will not impose any restrictions on Aramco’s production volumes.

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