Saudi Aramco signed a $15.5 billion lease and leaseback deal to sell 49% of its stake in its gas pipeline network to a consortium led by BlackRock Real Assets and state-backed Hassana Investment Company, Saudi Aramco announced Monday.
BlackRock Real Asset is a subsidiary of US-based asset management firm BlackRock and Hassana is the investment management arm of the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) in Saudi Arabia.
Aramco will hold a 51% share in its newly-formed subsidiary Aramco Gas Pipelines Company, which will lease usage rights in Aramco's gas pipeline network and lease them back to Aramco for a 20-year period.
Aramco will continue to retain full ownership and operational control of its gas pipeline network and the transaction will not impose any restrictions on Aramco's production volumes.
The announcement came five months after a $12.4 billion lease and leaseback transaction concluded in June with a consortium led by EIG Global Energy Partners, which involved Aramco’s stabilized crude oil pipeline network.
"Aramco and Saudi Arabia are taking meaningful, forward-looking steps to transition the Saudi economy toward renewables, clean hydrogen, and a net zero future," Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock was quoted as saying in the statement.