Saudi Arabia Signs Pacts with Nine Gas Majors
Saudi Arabia and nine major international oil companies signed a landmark agreement on Sunday that marks the first major foreign investment in the Saudi energy sector since the industry was nationalized in the mid-1970s, reported the Gulf Daily News.
The deal, worth at least $25 billion, involves the development of three natural gas fields in the kingdom, and a number of related power plants, transmission pipelines and water desalinization projects.
Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, will lead management position for two of the projects, including the $15 billion Ghawar Core Venture 1 project.
It also will lead the Red Sea Coast Core Venture 2 project.
Shell was chosen to lead the Shaybah Core Venture 3 project.
The Western companies will help Saudi Arabia convert its utilities from oil-burning to natural gas, which would free up more of the kingdoms crude oil for export, said the paper.
The other companies selected were BP, TotalFinaElf, Conoco, Phillips Petroleum, Occidental Petroleum Corp, Enron and Marathon.
King Fahad attended the signing and shook hands at the conclusion of the deal with the presidents of the companies, the paper added.
Also present was Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Defense Minister Prince Sultan and Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal, who signed the agreements on behalf of the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia’s state-owned energy company, Saudi Aramco, will be an equity owner in the projects.
Although locked out of the production of energy, Exxon Mobil has invested $5 billion in refining and petrochemical joint ventures in the country and said it was also the largest foreign purchaser of crude oil and other hydrocarbons from Saudi Aramco – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)