Saudi Aramco highlights prioritization of gas development and enhanced flexibility in the firm’s 2017 Annual Report. Few words were reserved for the planned IPO, hardly a surprise as the long-suffering process appears to have finally been killed off.

Saudi Energy Minister and Aramco Chairman Khalid al-Falih reacted quickly to deny the 22 August report that the state oil giant’s struggling IPO plans have been axed. Within hours of the Reuters story, Mr Falih issued a statement in...