Saudi Arabia Negotiates Huge Investments in Energy Sector
Saudi Arabia will announce Sunday the results of negotiations with 12 foreign oil firms on multi-billion-dollar investment opportunities in its energy sector.
The kingdom's foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal and Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi have chaired a committee that has held negotiations with the oil majors since April 16 in the oil-rich kingdom's economic capital of Jeddah on the Red Sea, said Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The committee met Tuesday with BP Amoco's CEO Sir John Browne who, according to SPA, made proposals to invest in exploitation of Saudi's gas fields. It was also scheduled to hold talks Wednesday with the Italian firm Eni.
Quoted by SPA, prince Saud al-Faisal said he hoped the current negotiations, due to end April 30, will bring in around 100 billion dollars of investment.
AFP said the talks have focused on gas field development, electricity generation and refining, while upstream oil production, the most lucrative investment field, is not included in the current phase of talks and remains the sole right of Saudi Aramco.
Saudi Arabia sits on top of an estimated 261 billion barrels, a quarter of the world's crude reserves.
One-third of its gas reserves of six trillion cubic meters (204 trillion cubic feet) is non-associated gas, while the rest is tied to oil production subject to OPEC output quotas.
AFP quoted Saudi officials as saying that the kingdom was counting on its gas reserves to boost power generation and convert its electricity and desalination plants, and to expand industry-(Agencies)
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