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Aramco repairs can take months longer than the company anticipates, contractors say



Saudi Arabia Oil Co. has been in urgent negotiations with equipment manufacturers and service providers, offering to pay premium rates for parts and repairs, as it seeks rapid recovery from missile attacks on the largest oil refining facilities, Saudi officials and

It can take many months – instead of the maximum ten weeks that company executives have promised – to restore full-time operations, they said.

Following the devastating attack on the largest oil refinery facility more than a week ago, Aramco is asking contractors to indicate their cost for patches and repairs. In recent days, company executives have been bombing contractors, including

General Electric

& # 39; p

Baker Hughes

with emergency telephone calls, faxes and emails, according to Saudi officials and oil service providers in the kingdom.

A Saudi official said costs could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Saudi Arabia and the world's most profitable company is struggling to recover from the attacks that came within weeks after the Saudi government resumed its plans for its initial and initial initial public offering of Aramco. Now, an IPO, the company's financial health and the country's economy may be in jeopardy, Saudi officials and advisers say.

Saudi officials and Aramco executives are consistent after the attacks, delivering statements aimed at appeasing the oil markets,

On Saturday, Aramco's CEO

Amin Nasser

re-production will return to pre-crisis levels by the end of the month. "No shipment to our international customers has been missed or canceled as a result of the attacks," he said. The company intends to return its maximum production capacity by the end of November.

Aramco has already started shipping equipment from the US and Europe to repair damaged equipment, said

Fahad al Abdulkarim,

Saudi officials say there is little sense of calm at the highest levels of the company and the government of Saudi Arabia. It can take some contractors up to a year to produce, deliver and install ready-to-measure parts and equipment, said Saudi officials and an oil contractor.

"We are still in a frantic search for spare parts," the Saudi representative said. "It's not really as pink as you might think."

It's been a little over a week since the Hurais and Abqaiq oil field, the world's largest oil refinery, was hit by rockets, causing the largest single interruption. the oil industry has ever seen. The attack knocked out 5.7 million barrels a day in the production of raw Saudi origin ̵

1; about half of the country's production and nearly 6% of global supplies.

The Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have blamed the attack on Iran, which it said was not

Workers are seen in the damaged site of the Saudi oil facility Abake on Friday.


Photo:

Hamad Mohammed / Reuters

At both sites in Abqaiq and Khurais, nine refining units known as stabilizers were damaged to varying degrees, Aramco said. Eleven spherical structures that extract gases from crude oil have been struck in Abqaiq, as well as two other tanks that hold water removed from crude oil, the company said.

The extent of the damage means a return to normal Abqaiq operations, some Saudi officials may take up to eight months. Most technical experts who have seen the destruction firsthand say they share this view.

"Repairs to damaged units will take two to nine months depending on the damage, even if Aramco had unforeseen situations and custom spare parts. equipment, "says IHS Markit in a note.

The Saudis reached out to

Saipem

SpA late last week and told the Italian contractor that the kingdom would pay generously for repairs, said Saudi officials and a contractor with operations in the kingdom. Saipem is considering how he could help Aramco, but since the $ 3.5 billion deal with Aramco signed in July, it is already overvalued in Saudi Arabia, the contractor said.

Saipem "supports [Aramco] in assessing the damage caused by the attack" in the field of Hurries, which already has contracts, the company says in an email.

Contractors can supply many of the spare parts that Aramko needs within one month or more, but only if they are rushed by air delivery to an additional cost of 50%, the contractor said.Designed turbines and compressors can usually take up to one year from the time they are ordered to be installed, the contractor said

Aramco also sought the help of Bake General Electric's Hughes and Negotiations

General Electric, which acquired Baker Hughes in 2016, lost its controlling stake in the company last Monday, GE did not respond to a request for comment.Baker Hughes declined comment.

Meanwhile, Aramco is working hard to maintain its capacity for the seriousness of its challenges.As part of a media tour on Friday, the company showed reporters and television crews a stabilizer that was completely blackened and another in repair that was in slightly better condition. Hundreds of hard-hat workers were in place of Hurries, while cranes seemed to be swirling.

Aramco officials say they were astonished to see the Saudi energy minister announce last week the triumphant recovery of the company on international television.

"I am honored by the King and the Crown Prince," he said, "to convey the good news to the citizens of this country and its adherents that the supply of oil on the market has returned to what it was before. "

Many Aramco In the meantime, executives and board members have a private doubt that the company can achieve its three-week return target. According to them, restoration of production will take twice as long according to the people who are involved with them.

Some "board members are appalled" that the company may report such optimistic estimates, one of the people said.

The momentary fires of Abqaiq and Khurais began igniting the Saudi sky last week, the company slowly coping with the scale of the attack and the extent of the damage, Saudi officials said.

"We knew that looking at screens was something very serious, but we just didn't know what it was," said an Aramco employee.

Whilst the strikes were in progress, entire display sections showing Aramco's facilities in Saudi Arabia blacked out.The control cabinet staff at Dharmah's Aramko headquarters initially registered the incident as a series of routine fires. more two

A total of four cruise missiles hit the facility in Hurays on Saturday, each targeting 98-foot oil stabilization towers.

at Summer Said at summer.said@wsj.com, Benoit Faucon at benoit.faucon@wsj.com and Rory Jones at rory.jones@wsj.com

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