BlackRock, Aramco sign $15.5-bn gas pipeline deal

Crude price rebound spurs move

Saudi Aramco said on Monday it had signed a $15.5 billion lease-and-leaseback deal for its gas pipeline network with a consortium led by BlackRockReal Assets and state-backed Hassana Investment Co.

Gulf oil producers are looking at sales of stakes in energy assets and raising cash through long-term leases, capitalising on a rebound in crude prices.

As part of the transaction, a newly formed subsidiary, Aramco Gas Pipelines Co., will lease usage rights in the state energy firm’s gas pipelines network and lease them back to Aramco for a 20-year period, it said.

In return, Aramco Gas will receive a tariff payable by Aramco for the gas products that will flow via the network, backed by commitments on throughput.

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