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Aramco’s Lavish Dividends Seen Stretching Finances in Oil Slump

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
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In Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering, one selling point is the idea that rock-bottom drilling costs will allow the world’s largest producer to weather the next oil slump better than majors like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

It may not be that simple. When the banks working on the IPO put the company’s balance sheet through the stress of low oil prices and reduced production, Aramco struggled.