Saudi Aramco has held talks with banks about creating a program that would include selling Islamic bonds (sukuk) over the next years, wrote Bloomberg quoting sources familiar with the matter. Issuing Islamic bonds will occur for the first time for the company. Previously, Aramco was selling its debts of $1b by issuing sukuk by Aramco Total Refining & Petrochemical Company, a joint venture with France’s Total SA known as Satorp.

The oil producer recently held talks with banks to raise $4.7b to refinance an oil refinery it had developed with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.  In 2015, the company was also reported to have borrowed $10b.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to cut its dependence on oil, which accounted for about 73% of government revenue in 2015, and is forecasting total revenue to fall in 2016. In line with this strategy, the country is turning its attention to oil & gas midstream sector and expanding penetration of global players in the industrial gases market, Your Oil and Gas News wrote based on a recently published report by TechSci Research. According to the findings, the industrial gases market in Saudi Arabia is anticipated to cross $ 1.6b by 2021, projecting growth on account of rising demand from various end user industries such as refinery or metallurgy. The growth estimates are coupled with implementation of favorable government policies to support petrochemicals sector. Further, investments in Saudi Arabia for capacity additions at existing end user facilities and new projects are also expected to have a positive impact on the market through 2021.