Regulatory approval granted by CCP for 40% acquisition of GO by Aramco

Deal marks the success of Aramco’s entry into Pakistan’s OMC space

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has given the green light to Aramco, a global leader in integrated energy and chemicals, for its acquisition of a 40% equity stake in Gas & Oil Pakistan Ltd (GO). This landmark transaction marks Aramco’s debut in Pakistan’s fuel retail market, signifying its confidence in the country’s economic potential and its dedication to fostering growth.

Earlier in December 2023, Aramco, the biggest Oil and Gas company in the world, and a market leader in energy and chemicals, signed the agreement to acquire 40% stake in GO. The strategic investment was aimed to strengthen Aramco’s downstream value chain internationally and providing GO with a significant boost in the competitive market.

As per details of the development, Aramco Asia Singapore Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, submitted the pre-merger application to the CCP. The company specializes in various services, including sales, marketing, procurement, logistics, and exploration, drilling, refining, and marketing of hydrocarbon substances.

The CCP’s merger analysis concluded that the acquisition would not lead to post-transaction dominance by the acquirer in the relevant market. Thus, the merger received the CCP’s approval, in line with its mandate to promote competition and ensure a fair business environment.

Saudi Aramco and Pakistan:

Saudi Aramco, officially known as the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, stands as the world’s largest oil producer and exporter. Founded in 1933, it plays a pivotal role in the global energy market, boasting extensive oil reserves and advanced extraction capabilities. As the crown jewel of Saudi Arabia’s economy, Aramco operates across the entire oil value chain, from exploration and production to refining and distribution. With its vast infrastructure and strategic importance, Aramco’s policies and decisions reverberate globally, influencing oil prices and shaping energy geopolitics.

This move follows Aramco’s acquisition of Valvoline Inc.’s global products business in February 2023, and the planned acquisition of GO is expected to secure additional outlets for Aramco’s refined products and open new market opportunities for Valvoline-branded lubricants. Although the talks have been delayed, at one stage Saudi Aramco was also on-board with setting up a $10 billion oil refinery in Pakistan. The petroleum ministry still remains positive about the potential in that deal. Were that deal successful, access to a large retail market in Pakistan places Aramco, directly in the market’s driving seat.

Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani, Aramco Downstream President, at the time of this agreement, stated that, “Our second planned retail acquisition this year aligns with Aramco’s downstream expansion strategy, with a clear path ahead for growing an integrated refining, marketing, lubricants, trading and chemicals portfolio worldwide. GO has a significant storage capacity, high-quality assets and growth potential, which will help launch the Aramco brand in Pakistan.”


Meanwhile GO, the targeted Pakistani company, is a licensed oil marketing company operating nationwide. It plays a vital role in the procurement, storage, sale, and marketing of petroleum products and lubricants. With more than 1200 retail outlets, GO is the largest retail outlet operator in Pakistan in the private sector. Its oil storage depots and terminals across the country can hold approximately 200,000 MTs of fuel. A 2nd upcountry storage network and a fleet of 800 tank trucks equipped with satellite tracking systems, ensure round-the-clock deliveries to its retail outlets. 

With a significant presence in downstream fuels, lubricants, and convenience stores, GO stands as one of Pakistan’s leading retail and storage entities. In 2020, GO also became the first OMC in Pakistan to introduce Electric Vehicle Chargers at its outlets.

It has the largest network of Company Owned Company Operated (COCO) retail outlets in Pakistan and has a strong network of fueling stations on the M4 and M5 motorways.

It is relevant to note that GO’s retail market share in Pakistan has exhibited a consistent presence, standing at 7.0% in FY 2023, 8.9% in FY 2022, 9.3% in FY 2021, 9.1pc in FY 2020, 7.9percent in Financial Year (FY) 2019. Besides, GO is not a listed company.

Aramco’s investment represents a significant stride forward for Pakistan’s energy sector, introducing advanced expertise and technology to the fuels retail market. This development is anticipated to enhance competition, elevate service standards, and offer consumers a wider array of high-quality products.

Moreover, the acquisition heralds a surge in foreign direct investment in Pakistan’s energy sector, thereby contributing to economic growth and development.

Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]


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