Saudi crown prince to meet US oil majors bidding for energy projects
Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz is to hold talks in the United States this week with US oil majors bidding for huge upstream gas projects in the Gulf state, the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) said Monday.
The Cyprus-based weekly said the crown prince, who attended the UN millennium summit in New York, would meet with the CEOs of shortlisted firms before starting a South American tour and attending an OPEC summit in Caracas on September 26-28.
On September 6, he met in New York with US President Bill Clinton for talks on efforts to stabilize oil prices.
US majors MobilExxon, Chevron, Texaco, Conoco, Phillips, Enron and Occidental (Oxy) in a joint bid, and Marathon have been shortlisted for the Saudi projects along with the European firms BP Amoco, Royal Dutch Shell, TotalFinaElf and Eni.
The foreign oil companies were given until the last week of August to submit their bids.
Recommendations are to be submitted to a Supreme Council for Petroleum and Mineral Affairs, the Gulf kingdom's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said after a July 12 briefing with the companies in the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
Riyadh announced in May that the 12 oil majors made a series of proposals during April 16-30 talks that would inject more than 100 billion dollars into the Saudi upstream gas and downstream oil sectors.
Saudi Arabia, which sits on top of the world's biggest oil reserves, has estimated gas reserves of six trillion cubic metres (210 trillion cubic feet). It has so far ruled out foreign investment in the upstream oil sector.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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