If Saudi claims about their oil were true, this would be a crazy thing to do. But fear and desperation make people do crazy things.
For one thing, Aramco’s inner workings are opaque, making its true value a mystery. Then there’s the timing. The price of crude oil is near its lowest level in more than a decade. Discussions with Aramco about selling assets in the past had been about much smaller parts of the business, five of the people said. An initial public offering of the entire enterprise had only ever been discussed as a joke, one of the people said.
In related news, The US is winning the oil war against Saudi Arabia:
Last year the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, initiated an economic oil war against the United States when it refused to cut production in November of 2014 like it usually does when oil prices drop. This was an attempt to drive some U.S. shale oil producers bankrupt and stem the flow of North American shale oil onto the global market.
In fact, OPEC actually increased oil production in November, which drove oil prices down to nearly $50/bbl, the price at which many shale producers can’t even break-even. But it hasn’t quite worked out the way they wanted.
In fact, I think they’ve lost this war by inadvertently making the U.S. shale oil industry leaner and meaner.