In March, Saudi Aramco concluded a $10 billion standby revolving credit facility deal with 27 international lenders, the largest of its kind in the Gulf region for years. Even revenue-rich Saudi’s NOC needs large pools of capital from abroad.
African NOCs have big ambitions too. Although they have generally lagged behind other emerging-market counterparts, recent years have seen a spate of African NOCs aspire to expand their asset portfolios, invest outside their home countries, transition into world-class operators and raise finance in non-traditional ways, rather than continue their historical reliance on state coffers.
But ambitions have far outpaced these NOCs’ financial capacity. This challenge is further complicated by their desire for a degree of operational and financial autonomy from the state.