Oil company Saudi Aramco is reviewing plans to expand at home and abroad in the face of sharply lower oil prices and a heavy dividend burden, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sept. 2, citing people familiar with the matter.

Aramco will review a $6.6 billion plan to add petrochemical output at its Motiva refinery in Texas, as well as a big natural-gas project with Sempra Energy in the same state, according to the report.

The state-run company is also pausing investments in refineries in China, India and Pakistan, the WSJ said.


Saudi Aramco’s $75 Billion Dividend Dilemma

Oil companies globally have been cutting spending across the board to shore up cash as the industry contends with a realization that lower crude prices could be the norm for a long period of time after the COVID-19 pandemic sapped fuel demand.

In Saudi Arabia, Aramco is delaying plans by a year to boost crude production capacity to 13 million bbl/d, from currently about 12 million, the report added.

The company plans to cut its capital spending to between $20 billion and $25 billion this year to pay a $75 billion dividend it pledged to investors during its IPO last year, the Financial Times reported last month.

Aramco did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.