(Adds quotes from CEO)
DUBAI, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Plans for an initial public offering (IPO) in state-owned energy giant Saudi Aramco have never been linked to developments in the oil market, its chief executive told Al Arabiya television on Tuesday.
Aramco is preparing to list about 5 percent of its shares in local and international stock markets in 2018.
“The offering since the beginning was never linked to the market or the condition of the market,” CEO Amin Nasser said.
“There is no doubt, oil market stability is very important and Saudi Arabia has a leading position in the oil market.”
He added that plans for the IPO emerged when crude prices were “in the $40s range or lower, it was not linked back then that the price should reach a certain level.”
Benchmark Brent is now trading above $57 a barrel, although it remains half its mid-2014 level.
Speaking during a major investment conference in Riyadh, Nasser also said Aramco planned to double its petrochemicals investments.
“We have a diversity of investments and we are looking at doubling our petrochemicals investments and industries based on petrochemicals,” Nasser said, giving a figure for doubling production of chemicals by 2030.
Aramco’s petrochemicals output is about 30 million tonnes a year from plants it owns and joint ventures in Saudi Arabia and abroad.
The firm had about 5 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity and planned to expand that to 8 million-10 million bpd, Nasser said, repeating previously announced figures.
Saudi Aramco has been integrating refineries with petrochemicals plants to maximise revenues and take advantage of every barrel of oil to produce value-added products. (Reporting by Reem Shamseddine; Writing by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Edmund Blair)