Aramco, Total to invest $5 billion in new Saudi Arabia plant

KOTRA President Kwon Pyung-oh attends a ceremony to sign an MOU with Ahmad A. Al Sa'adi senior vice president of Technical Services at Saudi Aramco at KOTRA's headquarters in southern Seoul

KOTRA President Kwon Pyung-oh attends a ceremony to sign an MOU with Ahmad A. Al Sa'adi senior vice president of Technical Services at Saudi Aramco at KOTRA's headquarters in southern Seoul

India's state-run refiners and Saudi Aramco signed an agreement Wednesday to jointly build an integrated refinery and petrochemical complex on India's west coast at a cost of $44 billion, Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said.

Ratnagiri will be among the world's largest "refining and petrochemicals projects and will be created to meet India's fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand". Saudi Aramco says it may also seek to include a strategic partner to co-invest in the mega refinery.

The entry of the Saudi national oil company will provide big support to the country's largest refinery as half of the crude oil required for processing there will be supplied by Aramco.

The hotly-awaited stock market debut of Saudi energy giant Aramco will be launched in 2018 if market conditions permit, otherwise in 2019, the kingdom's finance minister told AFP on Tuesday. It had supplied 39.5 million tonnes of crude oil to India in 2016-17, ahead of 37.5 million tonnes by Iraq. "I don't think Saudi Aramco will be happy doing just manufacturing", he told journalists here adding that it has an appetite for getting into petroleum retailing as well. Among these deals was a memorandum of understanding with Total to build a petrochemical facility fed by the two companies' existing joint venture oil refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

The 50 per cent of the crude requirement of the project will be met by Saudi Arabia.

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Aramco, now a 50 percent stakeholder in the project, announced that it may, in the future, seek partners to share in its portion of the refinery stake. In fact, according to Reuters, buying stakes in refineries is the strategy that the kingdom has adopted to expand its market share in Asia and fend off rivals.

Coffman also said Motiva was evaluating boosting the 603,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur refinery's capacity to 1 million or 1.5 million bpd, which would make it the largest in the world.

Total added that 8,000 jobs would be created by the deal.

The Crown Prince's visit to Houston included a number of engagements and activities driven by Saudi Aramco, such as a tour of the company's Houston R&D Centre where he was briefed on the latest upstream technology and innovation focusing on discovery and recovery of conventional and unconventional resources.

The total value of the Tadawul, as the Saudi stock exchange is named, is about $500 billion among 191 companies.