Dammam-Eng. Amin H. Nasser, president and CEO of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) said that the UK’s decision to leave the EU didn’t affect Aramco’s share in the European markets or its oil quantities exported to Europe. Nasser’s words came during the launch of a feasibility study for the establishment of oil-to-chemicals complex in partnership with Sabic Company.
Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) have inked an agreement to conduct a feasibility study to develop an oil-to-chemicals complex in the kingdom. The agreement includes the main principles on the joint venture.
The crude oil will be transformed into chemicals by using advanced technologies, which are derived from refining operations that proved their operating efficiency. The complex project aims to enhance the resources’ efficient use, and to diversify the feedstock materials used in the industry of petrochemicals.
During a press conference held to announce the agreement, Nasser said that the project will use the crude oil as a feedstock, aiming to magnify the benefit from the exported products.
SABIC vice chairman and CEO Yousef Abdullah Al-Benyan said that Sabic and Aramco are not competitors in the petrochemical sector, and that the agreement the two companies have inked is not the first cooperation between them. He added that the oil-to-chemicals complex with Aramco comes as part of Sabic’s strategy in diversifying the feedstock sources, which will play a remarkable role in the industrial future of Saudi Arabia.
Benyan noted that it’s hard to determine the investments’ value, saying that all the reported numbers are incorrect.
Amin al-Nasser said that the agreement only covers the feasibility study, which will be ready by the beginning of 2017. He added that the study will review the suitable feedstock of the oil crude, and that it will not affect the company’s supplies, saying that Aramco’s production capacity reaches 12 million barrels daily.
Aramco’s CEO said that the European market is important for the company, and that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union didn’t affect the exports quantities till this date.
Sabic’s CEO said that the Manufacturing industries’ sector will heavily depend on the private sector and that the project’s role is to support Saudi Vision 2030.
Concerning the exterior refineries, Nasser said that the studies are still in their primary phases, and that Aramco considers the cooperation with Malaysia, India, China, and Vietnam, which constantly import crude oil from Aramco. But, the final contract is not signed yet.
Nasser considered that the agreement reflects the vision of the two companies to build on Saudi Arabia’s global leadership in crude oil production and commodities export by substantially increasing the production of oil-based petrochemicals and further optimizing value across the entire hydrocarbons chain.
Aramco’s CEO added that the cooperation with Sabic will help motivate a new era of industrial diversification, job creation and technology development in Saudi Arabia, particularly through downstream conversion of specialty chemicals by small and medium enterprises.
The project’s idea comes in consistence with Saudi Vision 2030 goals. This project will provide new opportunities toward creating a world leading downstream sector in Saudi Arabia, built on four key drivers: maximizing value from the Kingdom’s crude oil production via vertical and horizontal integration across the hydrocarbon chain; enabling the creation of conversion industries that produce semi-finished and finished goods to help diversify the economy; developing advanced technologies and innovation; and, enabling the Kingdom’s sustainable development in alignment with the Kingdom’s National Transformation Program.