Officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, the national petroleum and natural gas firm is one of the largest companies in the world by revenue, and is reportedly the most profitable. The world’s largest oil producer is currently seeking to acquire government-controlled chemicals producer Saudi Basic Industries Corp. for an estimated $70bn. The deal will help fund Saudi Arabia’s diversification project by shifting funds from Aramco to the wealth fund.
Last year, Aramco said it would seek further acquisitions to speed its expansion in refining and petrochemicals as Saudi Arabia pushes ahead with plans to diversify its economy from reliance on sales of crude. In January 2019, it revealed plans to launch Saudi Aramco-branded service stations in the kingdom. As part of the move, it will create a wholly owned subsidiary catering to fuel retailing, RetailCo. According to the company, customers will be able to begin using Aramco service stations “in the not-too-distant future”.
RetailCo is expected to grow its operations in both the automotive and aviation fuel segments by offering customers “enhanced services and quality products while implementing a sustainable and profitable business model that delivers a new and stable source of revenue for Saudi Aramco,” Ahmed A. Al Subaey, vice president of marketing, sales and supply planning and chairman of the board of RetailCo told Arabian Business. In 2018, the company also partnered with American defence contractor Raytheon to establish a joint venture cybersecurity company. The new firm will market and provide cybersecurity software and hardware capabilities as well as research and development.