President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Khalid A. Al-Falih

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister said on Thursday that Saudi Aramco expects to launch its initial public offering next year.

According to Reuters, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said he still expects the state-owned oil giant to list its IPO in 2018.

That target date is in line with comments made by Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser in October.

Nasser said during the World Energy Conference late last year that he feels “comfortable” that market conditions will allow for a 2018 listing date.

Al-Falih, who made his comments at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi, did not provide further details about the IPO.

Saudi Aramco announced last January it was studying an IPO that would offer shares in either the while company or a bundle of downstream subsidiaries.

Nasser told Bloomberg in October that IPO will sell shares in the company’s entire business.

Nasser added that Saudi Aramco will likely offer a 5 percent stake in the firm through the IPO.

The kingdom’s government is expected to continue holding a controlling interest in the firm.

Saudi Aramco had yet to announce the exchanges its shares will be listed on or any further details about the offering.

Saudi Aramco is expected to publish audited oil reserve figures ahead of the IPO, a first for the state-owned company.

Al-Falih told the Financial Times in November that the figures will be verified by independent third parties.

Saudi Aramco has said its oil reserves stand at about 260 billion barrels.

The company said in its 2015 annual review that it produced an average of 10.2 million barrels of crude per day that year.

That figure was up from 9.5 million bpd in 2014 and was an all time high for the company.

Although several key details about listing have not been disclosed, the IPO is expected to generate billions of dollars in fees for some of the world’s largest investment banks.


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