The worldwide depressed oil market is motivating Saudi Aramco to consider selling a stake in its pipeline network in a deal worth over $10 billion, according to sources based in the United Arab Emirates.
The deal, internally dubbed "Project Seek", is still in its initial phase and there is no formal decision on the investors yet.
Modeled after the infrastructure deal signed recently in the Emirates by Abu Dhabi's national oil company, ADNOC, Saudi Aramco would presumably sell and lease its oil and gas pipeline assets to potential investors.
The deal would provide Aramco with cash at a time of low oil prices caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Talks are continuing regarding the type of financing investors would raise to back their acquisition, the first source said, adding it could involve a syndicated loan and a bond issuance linked to revenue from the assets.
ADNOC signed a $10 billion deal for its gas pipeline infrastructure this year with investors including Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, which manages around $550 billion in assets.