On Sunday, in a statement by Saudi Aramco, who is the oil giant now owned, the Saudi government will now go for an unspecified number of shares, which may range between 1 percent to 3 percent of the company.
If the Aramco valuation is ultimately realized below $1.5 trillion and only 2% of its shares are listed, then the deal would raise $30 billion-still qualifying it as the biggest IPO ever accomplished, according figures from Forbes. It is the world's most profitable company in a nation that has the world's largest oil reserves.
The Saudi government has already conceded the company probably is not worth the $2trn valuation crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman has long advocated.
"Citigroup Saudi Arabia, Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia, Goldman Sachs Saudi Arabia, HSBC Saudi Arabia, J.P. Morgan Saudi Arabia Company, Merrill Lynch Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Morgan Stanley Saudi Arabia, NCB Capital Company and Samba Capital & Investment Management Company have been appointed by the company as joint financial advisors", Saudi Aramco stated.
Back then, Saudi Arabia struck a deal with California's Standard Oil Company, which was later renamed into Chevron. The oil giant could make shares available for between just one and two percent of the firm.
Sources have told Reuters that Aramco could offer 1%-2% of its shares, raising as much as $20 billion to $40 billion. Until now, the world's biggest IPO has been that of Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba in 2014, which raised $25bn.
The Saudi stock market is the largest bourse in the Middle East and North Africa with a capitalisation of $500 billion, and although it has undergone key reforms in the past several years, more regulatory work is still needed.
"An important function of the domestic IPO is to project confidence in the company towards the worldwide market", said Cinzia Bianco, Gulf research fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Saudi's oil infrastructure was the target of drone strikes this past summer, which temporarily cut Riyadh's oil exports in half.
Average Brent crude dropped about 11 percent over the nine-month period compared with the previous year. According to Reuters' calculations, its net income for the third quarter of 2019 was $21.1bn (€18.9bn).
Its 2018 net profit of $111.1 billion is higher than the profits of Apple, Google and Exxon Mobil combined.
However the attacks underlined the potential political risk associated with the state company. Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility, but Saudi Arabia and the United States blamed Iran.